Manchester United are reported to have put wheels in motion to secure the signature of Nigel de Jong this summer as Louis van Gaal bids to further reinforce his midfield before the transfer deadline.
Midfield reinforcement required
The club were able to move quickly during the opening weeks of the transfer window with the acquisitions of Ander Herrera and Luke Shaw, but have not been able to add another first-team player since.
Midfield has been identified by Van Gaal as a key area for improvement and, with Herrera fulfilling the creative criteria that had been set, Manchester United now require a more combative player to operate alongside the Spaniard.
It has been reported by Goal.com that this player could well be De Jong, with Manchester United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward having met with representatives of the Netherlands international this week.
Van Gaal connection
De Jong and Van Gaal enjoyed a strong bond during their time spent together with the Dutch team, and the AC Milan midfielder would understandably been keen to be reunited with his now former international manager.
It is unclear if Manchester United have made a formal approach for the 29-year-old, although it would reportedly take a bid of around £8 million if the club are able to prise him away from the San Siro.
De Jong moved to Milan from Manchester City two years ago, making 60 appearances for the club during his time spent in Italy, but his sale would be considered this summer due to his age and high salary.
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This supposed pursuit of De Jong comes amid concerns over the prospects of a deal for long-term target Arturo Vidal, whose future has been the subject of intense speculation for the duration of the summer.
Chile manager Jorge Sampaoli has confirmed Manchester United are indeed in for Vidal, although Louis van Gaal is unwilling for the deal to be finalised until his doubts over the player’s fitness are placated.
Vidal underwent surgery on his right knee in May in order to compete in the World Cup with Chile, but there is a worry over his long-term prospects and whether or not the meniscus problem will flare up again.
The 27-year-old featured three times for his country in Brazil, but looked short of his best in each outing, and has yet to make an appearance since, returning to training with Juventus only last week after an extended holiday.