AC Milan midfielder Nigel de Jong has admitted that he was 'flattered' to be linked with a move to Premier League side Manchester United but has reassured Milan fans that he wants to stay at the San Siro for a long time.
The Dutchman was constantly linked with a move to Old Trafford in order to reunite with Louis van Gaal, who was the Netherlands coach beforehand. But despite all the interest, no formal bids were made for the midfielder's services.
Van Gaal built up a strong working relationship with De Jong during their Netherlands days, and the United boss is a massive fan of the midfielder's work-rate and attitude, which is why he wanted to bring him back to the Premier League.
The 29-year-old didn't have much success in England last time around, with Manchester City, but that hasn't stopped him feeling flattered about a potential return to the Premier League with his former-club's biggest rivals.
Speaking in an interview, De Jong said: “If many people like him (Van Gaal) respect me and recognise what I am doing, then I can only be proud.”
Despite the reports linking him with a move away from the San Siro, De Jong has reassured fans of AC Milan that he intends to stay at the club for the foreseeable future, and the 29-year-old has even revealed his desire to retire at the club.
Desire to Stay
He added: “I want to stay at Milan and I repeat that I want to end my career here.
“Milan is a club with a history and an extraordinary tradition – if they cannot finish first then they must always fight to be in the top three.
“I know it is tough, I know that there are many teams as strong and organised as we are, but we have to try.
“At what point will there be a new contract? I know that the club has contacted my agent and there is an appointment for next week.”
The Dutchman has made just shy of 50 appearances for Milan since joining them from City back in 2012, scoring three goals for the Serie A side.