Milan derby is like a final - De Jong

The midfielder is already looking ahead to next Sunday's clash with Inter and refused to discuss his own future before the end of the season

Nigel de Jong admits next weekend's derby clash with Inter will be "like a final" for AC Milan.

The Netherlands midfielder bagged an important equaliser for Filippo Inzaghi's men on Sunday as they came from behind to draw 1-1 with Sampdoria.

With their European hopes looking slim, De Jong concedes the clash with Roberto Mancini's side will be massive but was encouraged by the second-half showing against Samp.

"For all of us - fans and players - the derby is like a final," he told Sky Sport Italia.

"We played with heart for the last 15 minutes. It's a shame we didn't take the full three points. But we're thinking about the next game.

"We have another eight games. It will be difficult [to qualify for Europe] but we have to keep growing to reach our goal."

The 30-year-old refused to discuss his own future at San Siro, insisting a decision will be taken towards the end of the season.

"I don't want to talk [about my future]," he added to Mediaset Premium. "At the end of the season, we'll see. I want to finish this season with a lot of heart for Milan."