Mark Hughes’ ears have been pricked by the news that Manchester City hard-man Nigel De Jong is unwilling to sign a new contract at City.
De Jong was signed from Hamburg for £17million in January 2009 by Hughes and became an instant hit at the Ethiad, providing a midfield steel to balance the flamboyance of City’s attacking play. Hughes was always very open with his praise for the player and is allegedly going to do all he can to convince both the player and his Chairman Tony Fernandes that this deal would be value for money.
The projected transfer could cost Rangers in excess of £10m in transfer fees and bordering £100,000 per week wages.
Rangers have started life well under Hughes, who was given the job because of his ability to attract a better quality of player, something Neil Warnock couldn’t do. A ball-winning central midfield player is high on his list as his only real option in that department, Shaun Derry, isn’t getting any younger and is showing signs that Premier League game pass him by nowadays.
The Dutch international is apparently unhappy with the terms of his new contract at his current club, and added to the fact he has not really featured much this year, a new challenge could be on the horizon.
The decision to leave would be met by disappointment by the City fans but many of them feel now with the club challenging at the top of the Premier League, De Jong has been bypassed by better quality players in the squad such as Yaya Toure and David Silva.
It would be some achievement however, if Hughes could tempt De Jong to west-London.