Everton have reportedly eyed up three Manchester United defenders as ‘plan B’ options should they fail to secure the return of former loanee Kurt Zouma from Chelsea. The Daily Mail suggest that Everton have their eyes on Chris Smalling, Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo’s situation as Harry Maguire closes in on an £80 million move to Old Trafford.
Of the three names mentioned, Rojo looks like the most likely to be moved on by the Red Devils this summer. The Mirror reported earlier this summer that United are willing to accept a fee as small as £6 million for the Argentine international.
The deal could also finally give Marco Silva the chance to work with the player.
Silva took over as Sporting Lisbon manager on the 21st May 2014. Rojo was, at the time, likely to be a big part of the Portuguese manager’s plans for the upcoming season.
But the Everton boss would never get a chance to field Rojo. The defender helped Argentina to the World Cup final that summer and when he returned was wanted by a host of Europe’s top clubs.
“It was not an easy week – there is no hiding it. These are cases that are never easy to manage, but we have to be prepared for it…
“These are Sporting (management) decisions. Two days after that happened I was praising the players and I will not say now that they are my decisions. It had nothing to do with me. The conversation that went on (with Rojo and Islam Slimani) was possibly with the president or with someone from the board.”
In the end, as reported Mais Futebol, Sporting’s management suspended Rojo from first-team duties as he tried to force a move away from the club. Silva had no opportunity to work with him, with Rojo joining United for a fee reported by the BBC to be in the region of £16 million.
Silva himself never had any issues with the player, as he explained to Publico at the time, their suspensions ‘had nothing’ to do with him.
Now, five years on, the situation might present itself for Silva to finally work with Rojo.