Nigel de Jong - The Footballing World

United eye De Jong

Manchester United are eyeing up a move for Milan midfielder Nigel de Jong on a free transfer this summer, according to the Metro.

De Jong is well known by Red Devils boss Louis van Gaal, who worked with the defensive midfielder whilst being Netherlands manager.

The 30-year-old also has a good knowledge of the English Premier League in where United are currently third-placed, having played for United’s city rivals Manchester City previously from 2009 to 2012, winning the league title with the Etihad Stadium outfit in 2011-12.

And De Jong could be set for a return to England, having entered the final six months of his current deal with his current San Siro side in the Italian Serie A.

The Netherlands international has played every minute with Milan in the Italian top flight this season, but is yet to sign a new contract with the club.

Van Gaal has been previously linked with fellow international team-mates Bruno Martins Indi, Kevin Strootman, Arjen Robben and Wesley Sneijder, while having completed a deal for Daley Blind in the previous summer.

The Dutch boss is also reported to be interested in bringing  Thomas Muller across from Bayern Munich, who he worked with in his breakthrough season with the German Bundesliga champions.

Back to De Jong, the Amsterdam-born player came through the ranks with his hometown club Ajax before breaking into the Amsterdam Arena side’s senior squad, making 96 appearances for the Dutch Eredivisie champions, scoring nine times.

He then moved on to Hamburg in 2006, managing 66 appearances while notching three goals before moving to Manchester City, where he made 104 appearances but scored just one goal with the Citizens, which turned out to be a superb long-range strike against Liverpool in the Premier League during the 2011/12 title-winning season.

De Jong then moved to Milan in 2012 and has so far made 60 appearances for Filippo Inzaghi’s side, latching up five goals.

He played for the Netherlands Under-21 team between 2002 and 2005, making it to 10 games, and has been capped 80 times so far for his national side’s seniors since he made it into the the senior squad in 2004, scoring one goal.

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