Nigel de Jong has admitted that he was proud at being linked to Manchester United this summer, despite the club never making a formal approach for the midfielder.
De Jong’s strong performances for Holland was one of the biggest surprises at the World Cup as he showed a very disciplined and measured side to his game.
The 29-year-old is now set to sign a new contract at AC Milan but he was one of a number of Dutch players linked to a move to Old Trafford and link up with their former national coach Louis van Gaal over the summer.
Daley Blind was the only senior Dutch player to join the first-team and youngster Timothy Fosu Mensah also followed him from Ajax, but no move for De Jong ever materialised.
“If many people like him (Van Gaal) respect me and recognise what I am doing, then I can only be proud,” De Jong revealed.
AC Milan were reportedly willing to sell de Jong for a fee of £10m but United eventually opted to splash £14m on his Dutch team-mate Blind, a move that could well prove to be the right one given how well Blind played on his debut.