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Napoli eye Manchester United defender for January transfer

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You want a defender? Here's a rumor about a defender.

Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

Despite two thumping 5-0 wins in a row to get Napoli their first two clean sheets, there's still a feeling that Napoli's defense still needs some help. So of course, the first big transfer rumor of the post-summer rumor mill is a defender -- and one who plays for Manchester United, no less.

Marcos Rojo had a solid season for Manchester United last season after starring for Argentina at the World Cup the summer before, but never seemed to quite be comfortable in Louis Van Gaal's defensive system. The Dutchman is a very demanding coach when it comes to his defenders, and Rojo often switching back and forth between centerback and left back probably didn't help matters much. So when the 25 year old and Van Gaal reportedly had a falling out over the summer, no one was really surprised -- though they were a little surprised when Rojo was still in the squad when the transfer window closed.

Napoli might be willing to help out on that front, though, with a clear need for a defender and interest in Rojo that apparently was registered in the summer. They've apparently placed him on top of their defensive priority list for a January transfer. What kind of fee it would take to get Rojo away from Old Trafford is an unknown right now -- it was only a little over a year ago that Manchester spent some €20 million on him, and even if the Argentine defender is out of favor, they likely wouldn't want to take a huge loss on that investment.

Even if Rojo has struggled somewhat in England, there's reason to think that he could work well in Italy and Naples. As mentioned before, Van Gaal demands his defenders to be much more active and outwardly physical than most managers do, something that's never suited Rojo. Since he's a more technically-oriented defender than a smashmouth one, he could probably do much better in Italy and working under a manager like Sarri.

There's a catch, though -- with Luke Shaw likely out for the season after suffering a double leg fracture a week ago in Champions League play, Manchester need Rojo to be their primary left back. Until and unless they acquire another one -- and likely another center back as well -- Rojo simply won't be on the market.

Still, this is something worth tracking. For the right price, Rojo would be an excellent piece to add. If his relationship with Van Gaal further deteriorates, Napoli might just have a shot at him.