Reports claim Manchester United are still interested in bringing Ac Milan midfielder Nigel de Jong over to the English premier league in January, with De Jong believed to be interested and keen on the move as he wants to be reunited with his former national team coach Louis van Gaal. According to the reports, the deal is close to completion ahead of January transfer window.
It was a bit of a surprise that the Ac Milan midfielder did not join Manchester united over the summer, especially as he had been linked with a move to old Trafford throughout the summer, but the move failed to come through despite Manchester united hiring Vaan Gaal who it is believed has a good relationship with de Jong, as they were said to enjoy a strong working relationship during the time they spent together with the Dutch national side.
The need for a defensive midfielder at Manchester united is important considering the poor showing of Manchester united defensive midfielders last season. The likes of Cleverly who has joined Aston villa on loan, Fletcher, Fellaini could not perform and step up due to injuries and poor form. This season Manchester united have brought in Danny blind from Ajax, while blind helps to control the midfield, Manchester united realize they need an enforcer in the middle of the park.
Blind is a good midfielder, but is not your typical box to box, break up play physical type of midfielder like de Jong. Van Gaal has realized he needs more steel in his midfield to help Manchester united from been over run by more physical teams like we have seen early on in the season and de Jong represents that kind of player that can provide the steel in midfield.
De Jong is not new to the premiership, he played for Manchester united arch rivals Manchester city where he showed his qualities in breaking up play, holding up play, good positioning, good marking and most importantly provided that physical presence and steel to Manchester city’s midfield.
One issue that could count against De Jong is his disciplinary record and his perceived hard playing style. De jong has been known in the past to “lose his head” and his cool and has suffered disciplinary actions in the past. His style of play has also been said to be “dirty” as he has done some nasty and life threatening tackles in matches he has played. But one can argue that this may be in his past, as he showed at the world cup, also at Ac Milan he has not had such concerns, which may mean he has left such aspects of his game in the past.
Now the question is will Manchester united get their man. De Jong will soon be out of contract at the San siro and is in the process of discussing a new deal. Will Ac Milan be willing to sell? With De jong said to be interested with the prospect joining Van Gaal at Manchester united Ac Milan may find it hard holding on to him. Also Ac Milan realize that De Jong could leave for free if an extension is not agreed and may be tempted to consider selling him so as not to totally lose out, therefore they could willing to sell which will surely be in Manchester united favour.