Manchester United are ready to let Marcos Rojo leave the club on loan to Villarreal with Jose Mourinho having earmarked the player for transfer in the current window. The defender was signed from Sporting Lisbon in 2014 but has struggled to make a place for himself in the first team, with Louis van Gaal willing to stick with Daley Blind in defence over the Argentine.

The Daily Mail reports that Villarreal are in the market for a defender after selling Eric Bailly to United while AC Milan are keeping a close eye on Mateo Musacchio, which would put the Villarreal backline into chaos, losing their first choice central defenders. Rojo has started only 15 games last season, partly due to a shoulder injury that kept him out for almost three months.

Mourinho is likely to go with Chris Smalling and Bailly in the centre of his defence, with Luke Shaw slotting in at left-back while Matteo Darmian will be his first choice right-back. He has also earmarked the likes of Bastian Schweinsteiger, Blind and Juan Mata for a move out of Old Trafford with a final decision to be made before the end of the transfer window, depending on their performances in pre-season.

Meanwhile, Mourinho has heaped praise on Eric Bailly following his first outing with the Red Devils against Wigan Athletic in a pre-season friendly. Bailly was given an extended period on the pitch as he does not speak English and Mourinho wanted him to get attuned with his teammates as soon as possible.

Marcus Rojo plays a pass
Marcus Rojo may be on his way out Getty Images

"He's one of the players who I want to give 65/70 [minutes] because more than others [he] needs to play, needs to feel it and needs to start communicating. I will give him everything to try to make him better and better and better like I did previously with other very young central defenders I had in my hands, like for example Varane. I will try to make him the best I can but the reality is that he showed all the potential that we saw when we decided to buy him," the Portuguese man said.