Manchester United to make cut-price January move for van Gaal favourite - report

Sneijder, Robben and De Jong Netherlands

With his contract expiring in the summer, AC Milan midfielder Nigel de Jong has once again been linked with a move to Manchester United.

After Louis van Gaal guided the Netherlands to the semi-finals of the World Cup in Brazil this summer, it was only natural that a number of his Dutch players were linked with moves to follow him to Manchester United. Ron Vlaar, Stefan de Vrij, Wesley Sneijder and Memphis Depay were suggested as potential targets, but of van Gaal's six signings, only one was in his World Cup squad - Daley Blind.

Rumours continue to speculate that United will make a big January bid to sign Roma's Kevin Strootman, who missed the World Cup through injury but is still highly rated by van Gaal, but now it's another Dutch midfielder plying his trade in Serie A being linked with a move to Old Trafford yet again.

Former Manchester City anchorman Nigel de Jong left the Premier League to join AC Milan in 2012, and played a key role under van Gaal at the World Cup, protecting the back four with his trademark aggression and allowing the likes of Sneijder, Arjen Robben and Robin van Persie to attack.

Yet with his contract at the San Siro set to expire in the summer of 2015, it's believed that Milan are very worried about losing the 29-year-old to United, with a van Gaal reunion possibly appealing to de Jong.

Despite being linked with de Jong throughout the summer and up to the close of the transfer window, no deal was agreed, which seemed to be the end of the matter. However, new reports today believe that a January bid from United is on the way, and with just months left on his contract, they believe they can get him for a knockdown price.

United's midfield is full of talented ball players such as Blind, Angel di Maria and Ander Herrera, but they sometimes lack the bite and physicality needed when they are under pressure - as we saw in the 5-3 defeat to Leicester City this season - and de Jong would be perfect for marshalling the back four.

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