Football: Rojo joins Estudiantes on loan from Man United

Rojo (left) and United's Harry Maguire warm up ahead of a match.
Rojo (left) and United's Harry Maguire warm up ahead of a match.PHOTO: AFP

BUENOS AIRES (AFP) - Combative Argentina defender Marcos Rojo has rejoined his home town club Estudiantes on loan from Manchester United, the Superliga side said on Thursday (Jan 30).

On its Twitter account, the four-time Copa Libertadores winners posted a picture of Rojo during his previous spell alongside the message: "At home!"

Rojo was born in La Plata where Estudiantes are based and spent his first three seasons as a professional with the club before moving to Spartak Moscow in December 2010.

Eighteen months later he switched to Sporting Lisbon in Portugal and two years after that he was bought by then United manager Louis van Gaal.

"Another dream is realised," said Estudiantes on Twitter.

"People always go back to the places where they were happy. Because the feeling of belonging is stronger.

"Your dream and that of the Stabber Family has come true," added Estudiantes, referring to the club's nickname: the Rat Stabbers.

Rojo, 29, has joined on a six-month loan deal, according to local press.

He has 18 months left on his contract with the Premier League side but has fallen down the pecking order at Old Trafford since a bright start to his career in England.

Having made 59 Premier League appearances during his first three seasons at United, Rojo has played in just 17 league encounters in the last two-and-a-half years.

Rojo, who can play at centre-back or left-back, hasn't played for the Red Devils since November when he picked up an injury.

He was left out of Argentina's 2019 Copa America squad in June but played in two friendlies in September and October.

He was picked for two more friendlies in November but had to pull out of the squad through injury.

It's believed his move back to Estudiantes is to gain vital game time ahead of the next Copa America starting in June and co-hosted by Argentina.

Rojo has played 61 times for Argentina and was part of their 2014 and 2018 World Cup squads.

Former United midfielder Juan Sebastian Veron is the current Estudiantes president.