Van Gaal favourite flattered by speculation of Manchester United transfer

Sneijder, Robben and De Jong Netherlands

AC Milan midfielder Nigel de Jong was linked with a summer move to Manchester United, and now the Dutchman has revealed his pride at the speculation.

Manchester United had a summer of upheaval after David Moyes was replaced by new manager Louis van Gaal, and the Dutchman has overseen a £150m spending spree with Marcos Rojo, Luke Shaw, Daley Blind, Ander Herrera, Angel Di Maria and Radamel Falcao all arriving at Old Trafford.

Start to life under van Gaal didn't go as planned though, with no Premier League wins before the international break and an embarrassing 4-0 loss to MK Dons in the Capital One Cup. Yet things appear to be turning around with the recent 4-0 win over Queens Park Rangers, where many of the clubs new signings started and impressed for van Gaal's men.

Despite the huge spending, there were a number of players linked who didn't make the move to Old Trafford - Mats Hummels, Mehdi Benatia, Juan Cuadrado, Arturo Vidal and Kevin Strootman are just a handful of those, and AC Milan midfielder Nigel de Jong is another.

The former Manchester City midfielder, 29, is one of the true remaining midfield enforcers, and enjoyed a superb World Cup campaign under van Gaal, as the Netherlands went to the semi-finals of the competition under van Gaal's stewardship - and reports this summer suggested that van Gaal was eager to reunite with the midfielder at Old Trafford.

An £8m move was strongly rumoured, but no deal was reached. Now, de Jong says that he is proud to have been linked with the move to United, which may fuel even stronger rumours ahead of the January transfer window.

"If many people like him respect me and recognise what I am doing, then I can only be proud," said de Jong on van Gaal's alleged interest.

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