Nigel De Jong looks set to disappoint Manchester United, with reports suggesting that the Dutch enforcer wants to extend his stay in Serie A.
According to speculation from Italy brought to our attention by The Daily Express, a move to Old Trafford for midfielder De Jong was widely considered to remain a distinct possibility ahead of the next two transfer windows.
However, any hopes Louis van Gaal had of luring the former Manchester City man back to the Premier League are looking increasingly forlorn, with the same source suggesting that De Jong is eager to sign a new contract at the San Siro, with his camp said to have already approached Milan in an attempt to commence negotiations.
29-year-old De Jong has been with the Rossoneri for two years now, having made the move to Italy from City in a relatively low-cost deal back in August 2012.
He has so far made 46 league appearances in the famous red and black stripes, forming an integral part of a midfield that struggled for consistency somewhat during a turbulent 2013/14 campaign that saw Milan go through two managers - sacking Massimiliano Allegri and Clarence Seedorf - before finally settling on legendary striker Filippo Inzaghi.
Milan were victorious in their first domestic clash of the new season on Sunday, recording a relatively comfortable 3-1 home win over Lazio.
Other LVG targets
Van Gaal will be well aware of the strengths that £8 million-rated De Jong possesses, of course, with the Manchester United boss having worked closely with the player during his second stint in charge of the Netherlands national team that ended in a satisfying third-placed finish at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
With De Jong seemingly now focused on securing his future at Milan, his compatriot will have to move onto other targets as he seeks to reinforce his midfield.
While the signings of Ander Herrera, Angel di Maria and Daley Blind have all added to Van Gaal's option in that particular area, Manchester United arguably still require a more robust, defensive presence to provide the necessary protection for the club's weak and relatively inexperienced back three.
Juventus' all-action Chilean Arturo Vidal is obviously a preferred target, although it is far from certain that he will want to leave Turin in January having stayed relatively quiet amid a slew of transfer rumours during the past few months.
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