Manchester United may be about to get a helping hand in their efforts to return a former rival to the Premier League.
Nigel de Jong has spent time on the books at Manchester City in the past, but he would be welcomed to the ranks at Old Trafford with open arms.
Louis van Gaal feels he needs an experienced holding midfielder and would favour a move for a man he has worked with while in charge of the Dutch national side.
United are believed to have made moves for De Jong over the summer, but failed to get a deal done.
They will, however, get the chance to address that issue again in January, with the 30-year-old’s contract at AC Milan running down.
The Serie A outfit appear resigned to losing the Holland international and are drawing up a list of possible replacements.
Paris St Germain’s Thiago Motta, who may still be a decent option for Arsenal, is considered to be a top target and his agent has confirmed that interest is being shown from the San Siro – with his client ready to quit the French capital.
Alessandro Canovi told gianlucadimarzio.com: “A player like Thiago cannot stay at a club for months after they voiced doubts over whether he’d stay past the summer.
“We need clarity, otherwise we could look round at other options. January is a long month, so we’ll wait for the moment.
“I am sorry to see this situation, especially as the problems within the club are certainly not Thiago’s fault.
“I received many phone calls, including from his former coaches. Milan are particularly receptive, especially considering their own doubts over the future of Nigel de Jong. I won’t say there is something concrete in this, but there is certainly a lot of interest.
“The next few days will be decisive to understand Thiago’s future. We’ll see what the club says and wait to hear their intentions.”
Milan would do well to secure Motta’s services as he is a proven performer at the highest level and would prefer to join a side that can offer him Champions League football.
Arsenal could do that, but even they may struggle to convince the Italy international that a move to England would be a better option that a return to Serie A.
Whatever happens, Motta appears destined to be on the move at some stage in the near future and United are ready to step up their interest in De Jong.