Report: Nigel de Jong in talks to join Manchester United on free transfer

Sneijder, Robben and De Jong Netherlands

Reports in Italy suggest AC Milan midfielder Nigel de Jong is in talks over a move to Manchester United.

According to Calcio Mercato, AC Milan midfielder Nigel de Jong is in talks over a move to join Manchester United on a free transfer this summer.

United lost 2-1 at Swansea City on Saturday, which has dented their hopes of achieving a top four finish this season and subsequent Champions League spot.

After no big January signings, the Red Devils are widely expected to make a number of moves in the summer transfer window - even after snapping up Marocs Rojo, Luke Shaw, Daley Blind, Ander Herrera, Angel Di Maria and Radamel Falcao last summer.

Manager Louis van Gaal will surely look to strengthen a number of positions, including right back, centre back and in attack, but midfield remains a concern for the Dutchman.

United have lacked some bite in midfield at times this season, and have regularly missed somebody to put their foot in and intimidate opponents.

It's therefore little surprise to see Netherlands international de Jong linked with a move to United, given that he was so key for van Gaal's Dutch side at the World Cup last summer.

De Jong, 30, used to play for United's rivals Manchester City, and is available on a free transfer at the end of the season when his AC Milan contract expires.

Calcio Mercato believe that de Jong has snubbed a return to his former club Ajax, and has opened talks with United over a pre-contract agreement, meaning he'd be able to join for nothing in the summer - and a move back to England could be on the cards if those reports are to be trusted.

Given de Jong's physicality and experience, he would be a superb addition for United - and his familiarity with van Gaal's tactics would be a big plus, too, as well as the added positive of his knowledge of Premier League football.

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