Nigel De Jong
Nigel De JongGetty Images

Manchester United are in talks to sign Netherlands international Nigel De Jong in the ongoing transfer window, according to Goal.com.

The Red Devils are believed to be readying an offer of £8m to prise the 29-year-old away from AC Milan and make him their third summer acquisition following the arrival of Ander Herrera and Luke Shaw.

The report states that the club's executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward has held meetings with the midfielder's representatives and the player is keen on becoming a part of Louis van Gaal's roster at Old Trafford. The former Ajax, Barcelona and Bayern Munich boss is an admirer of his compatriot, who impressed at the World Cup in Brazil.

Van Gaal is said to be keen on signing Arturo Vidal from Serie A champions Juventus but concerns have been raised over the Chilean international's fitness. United are also thought to be monitoring AS Roma's Dutch star Kevin Strootman and are reportedly ready to wait till the next transfer window to acquire the former PSV Eindhoven star's services.

De Jong enjoyed a three-and-a-half year spell with the Citizens and won two pieces of silverware including the Premier League title in the 2011-12 campaign before moving to Serie A. Van Gaal is aware that his compatriot will hardly take any time to re-adjust to life in England as the 62-year-old aims to guide his side to compete for accolades next season.

Meanwhile, United defender Chris Smalling believes their new 3-5-2 formation implemented by Van Gaal has helped him amplify his confidence.

"It's challenging but we've done a lot of work on it and I feel like we're making progress. I am enjoying it in terms of being a centre-half," the 24-year-old told United's official website.

"It gives us that freedom to go all the way in with a striker and really be dominant and aggressive, and I like to think that fits my game."

"This system has given me a lot of confidence to be able to fit in and hopefully make it my place. When we're attacking it can be a three and at other times it can be a five. There's always one pressing so you've got four covering and it does interchange."

"This formation means that when you go all the way in with an opponent, you can be stepping into midfield or picking someone up in a wide position. That flexibility is something you need to be able to play this system," the England international concluded.