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Former Manchester City enforcer set for United switch?

The Dutch international's contract expires in June.

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Marco Luzzani/Getty Images

For a while now, United's midfield has been lacking in steel. Neither Michael Carrick or Daley Blind are particularly strong in the tackle, and the result has been goals shipped straight through the middle of the pitch. According to a report in Italian sports daily Tuttosport today, Louis van Gaal has identified his compatriot Nigel de Jong as the solution to the problem.

Another nonsense rumour, you may think -- you'd probably be right. But there is one key aspect of this story that renders it more plausible than you'd expect: de Jong's contract with AC Milan expires in the summer, and he's showing no desire to extend at the San Siro. He's been a regular under Pippo Inzaghi this season, but the club continue to struggle in the league. De Jong would probably jump at the chance for some final Champions League football before he begins the slide towards retirement.

He's certainly not the most technically gifted players, but if you want bite, aggression and flying studs in the midfield, there's no one better. As a specific role-player for big games, he wouldn't make a bad freebie.