Dutchman nears San Siro switch.
Inter Milan have entered negotiations to sign Manchester City anchorman Nigel de Jong, according to reports in Italy.
De Jong, who moved to City from Hamburg in 2009, managed just 11 Premier League starts last season, prompting doubts over his long-term future at the Etihad Stadium.
The Netherlands international expressed his desire to continue his career at City last week, but Italian newspaper Corriere dello Sport claim Inter Milan have already entered talks over a move for the midfielder, who is valued between £6.4m and £8m.
Inter, who are desperate for a return to Champions League football after finishing sixth last season, believe de Jong could be persuaded to move to the San Siro on the advice of international team-mate Wesley Sneijder.
Nigel de Jong has been heavily linked with a move away from the Etihad Stadium this summer but here at caughtoffside, we suspect he will still be a City player come 1 September.
The Dutchman found his chances limited last season, with Blues boss Roberto Mancini preferring Yaya Toure and/or Gareth Barry in the deep-lying midfield position. But it’s worth remembering that Toure is also capable of playing further up the pitch and often looked devastating when given the freedom to roam forward – the best example being City’s 2-0 win over Newcastle, in which Toure bagged both goals, in the penultimate game of last season.
Indeed, it was de Jong’s arrival from the bench for Samir Nasri on the hour mark that freed-up the Ivorian and saw City edge a step close to the Premier League title.
De Jong may not be a regular starter for the Champions but he gives Mancini a valuable option from the bench, allowing City to maintain defensive discipline while Toure stretches his formidable legs higher up the pitch.