Manchester City make last-ditch bid to keep De Jong

The Dutch midfielder, whose contract expires at the end of next season, will hold one final set of talks with his club after Euro 2012 as Arsenal, Inter & QPR lie in wait
By Wayne Veysey ¦ Chief Correspondent

Nigel De Jong will hold a final round of talks with Manchester City next month aimed at breaking his contract deadlock with the club.

Sources have told that City will make a last-ditch attempt to hold on to the central midfielder when he returns to Manchester after Euro 2012.

The Premier League champions have put together a four-year package for De Jong in a bid to tie him down beyond the summer of 2013, when his current agreement expires.

It is believed that City have imposed a £95,000-a-week ceiling on the 27-year-old’s new deal.

However, De Jong, who currently earns £70,000-a-week, is looking for parity with the likes of his midfield colleague Gareth Barry, who is on £120,000-a-week.

He has been at a stand-off with City since contract talks began over 12 months ago, and Etihad Stadium chiefs are now keen to reach a resolution.

City will listen to offers of around £10 million for De Jong if they cannot reach an agreement, with Arsenal, Inter and QPR among the clubs closely monitoring the situation.

Although De Jong found himself on the sidelines for large parts of last season and started only 10 of the club’s 38 league matches, he impressed Roberto Mancini with his performances and attitude when he was restored to the starting XI in the final months of the campaign.

Mancini has already told De Jong he wants him to stay at Etihad Stadium and is likely to be involved in the discussions that will take place when the player returns to the club after Euro 2012.