De Jong: Dressing room is like the Vatican

AC Milan

AC Milan midfielder Nigel de Jong has labelled the dressing room 'sacred' ahead of the derby against Inter tomorrow evening.

Tomorrow evening's Milan derby will be a tense affair with a lot at stake after a season of disappointments in Lombardy's capital.

Both Inter and AC Milan expected to be challenging for the Scudetto this term, but instead both sides are desperate simply to secure Europa League football.

Inter are in the driving seat, currently sitting in fifth place with a five-point cushion inside the Europa League qualification zone.

Milan have enjoyed something of a renaissance under Clarence Seedorf after a dismal first half of the season, but they are still in 10th place, albeit only one point back from sixth-placed Torino, who hold the final Europa League spot.

There has been intense scrutiny on the atmosphere in the Milan dressing room in the Italian media and it has been suggested that Seedorf is playing for his job, but Nigel de Jong refused to be drawn into such talk.

"It's true that certain people like to talk," the Dutch international said in La Gazzetta dello Sport.

"For me the dressing room is like a sanctuary - an inviolable state, like the Vatican."

De Jong went on to categorically deny recent rumours of a divide within the Milan camp and tension between certain players and coach Seedorf.

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch