Source have suggested over recent days that Nigel de Jong is unwilling to sign a new contract at the Etihad Stadium and could be on his way out of the club soon with Liverpool showing a particular interest in his signature.
The reports initially claim that the Dutchman won’t be sold until the summer by which time there will be only 12 months remaining on his current deal, however the Anfield outfit could submit an offer for his services earlier than that as they look to cure some issues of their own.
De Jong has slipped down the pecking order under Roberto Mancini with Gareth Barry and Yaya Toure emerging as first choices for a central midfield partnership.
As a result, de Jong is keen to look elsewhere to gain his playing time and is reportedly open to a Premier League stay.
The tough-tackling nature of the Dutch international makes him a prime candidate for the equally tough league – albeit sometimes overly so – and while many would claim that the 27 year-old is too violent in his approach, there’s no arguing that the English top flight is one of the more physical in the football world.
One can see why Liverpool would show interest in de Jong’s signature when considering the season-ending injury picked up by club favourite, Lucas Leiva, earlier in the season.
The Brazilian suffered the always feared ACL injury in a Carling Cup victory over Chelsea and it’s understood the club are seeking a replacement to fill the midfield void now left empty.
Jordan Henderson, Jay Spearing and Jonjo Shelvey have all been deployed in the holding position since Lucas’ casualty, however all have failed to replicate the inspiring form of the 25 year-old and the club will dip into the transfer window to solve the issue.
Although a cheaper alternative may have been preferred for what is essentially a short-term replacement, de Jong’s unsettling at City seems almost too well timed and a January departure could tempt the anchorman.
Any deal would be expected to cost the Merseysiders around £13m but with New England Sports Ventures already showing considerable commitment over the last two transfer windows, funds may be readily available.