Nigel de Jong, the much loved former Man City #34 has signed for Italian giants AC Milan.
The 27 year old Dutch International was in the final year of his Man City deal and a sale was always likely. Man City with FFP considerations were forced to accept a fee, thought to be in the £ 4-6m range, after the player last year demanded a huge raise on his current wages.
City backed away from offering the player north of £100k per week and as the player slowly slipped down the midfield pecking order the inevitable conclusion was that the player would find pastures new.
de Jong only has himself to blame for his exit from Man City. His demands were too high, he then refused to back down and compromise and Man City, noting that his one dimensional skill set wasn't crucial to the tactical direction that the club was moving toward, sold the player.
Nigel De Jong
"I'm happy, AC Milan is a great club and they are a new important chance for me in my life."
"Everyone knows AC Milan's history. Everyone wants to play for AC Milan as a child. With this team we can compete both in Italy and in Europe, we have so many good players."
"We think de Jong is one of the best defensive midfielders in Europe."
"I am sorry because Nigel was an important player for us but if he is happy, I am happy for him."
"I am sure he will do really well in the Italian championship."
I touched on de Jong's future and strengths and weaknesses here.
This was the poll on de Jong's future from the 21st of August. I had a hunch Nigel's sale was forthcoming and the poll results were pretty close as we can see.
What should Man City do with Nigel de Jong?
I'm sad to see the player leave, for he has a unique skill set and would have had a lot to offer Man City once the tough away games start.
I would be shocked if Man City don't sign another midfielder before the window slams shut tonight. Will it be Javi Garcia? A friend of mine from Madrid when asked whether Javi Garcia was a good player shook his head for a full 5 seconds and then said: '"No, he's a destroyer, no offense. Can tackle and that's all'. Sounds a lot like a player we just sold to AC Milan!
de Jong was the architect of his own departure. Lights out.