Nigel de Jong has rubbished reports suggesting he wants to leave AC Milan in response to the sacking of manager Clarence Seedorf, who has been replaced by Filippo Inzaghi.
The Holland international, who left Manchester City for Milan in August 2012, was one of the Rossoneri’s most consistent players during the nightmare 2013/14 campaign, which saw the club finish the season in 8th-place in the Serie A table.
In an attempt to play down speculation linking him with a summer exit from the San Siro, De Jong spoke to deny any rift between him and newly appointed boss Filippo Inzaghi.
“I feel good at Milan and I have no problems in staying next season even if the coach is changed,” De Jong told Gazzetta dello Sport.
“I can only assure I haven’t asked Milan to leave and I am perfectly happy with the Rossoneri.
“This is not the time to be thinking about club matters. At the moment, I am only concentrating on the World Cup and the Netherlands’ destiny.”
De Jong, who has started each of Holland’s first two group matches — against Spain and Australia, respectively — at the World Cup finals, scored two goals in 42 appearances in all competitions for Milan last season.
West Brom confirm interest in Joleon Lescott
West Bromwich Albion manager Alan Irvine has confirmed his interest in signing Joleon Lescott following the player’s release from Manchester City at the end of last season.
Lescott, who joined City from Everton for £22 million in the summer of 2009, was — in every sense of the phrase — surplus to requirements at the Etihad Stadium last term.
Despite long-term injuries to defenders Matija Nastasić and Micah Richards, Lescott made just eight English Premier League starts for City in 2013/14.
“There is an interest in Joleon and he is a player I know well,” Irvine told reporters.
“I obviously worked with him at Everton and I remember there were a number of times we watched him.
“Coincidentally, I saw him towards the end of the season when Manchester City played Everton. I had a chat with him then but, of course, I didn’t know any of this was happening at the time.”
The appointment of Irvine (following the departure of Pepe Mel) has not been lauded by many of the club’s supporters but the new West Brom manager is hoping to judged by his side’s performances on the pitch, and rightly so.
“It would be lovely if everyone was absolutely delighted in thinking this is the best appointment that can be made but the only way I can prove that is to help the team to get success,” added Irvine.
“Every manager will be judged by the results they get on the pitch and unfortunately that cannot happen for a number of weeks because we are not playing any league games.
“But that gives me a bit of time to work with the players, try and get the squad together and be ready for the start of the season.”
Albion will open their 2014/15 Premier League account against Sunderland at the Hawthorns.