Mancini wants De Jong stay

The Dutch midfielder still has 18 months left before his reported

£90,000-a-week deal runs out, however talks to extend it began

over a year ago. It was reported that negotiations broke down last

summer because De Jong felt under-valued and wanted to be amongst

the club’s higher earners such as Carlos Tevez and Yaya Toure.

Mancini is eager for the future of his star defensive midfielder to

be resolved sooner rather than later. “Nigel is continuing to talk

about his contract with the club,” Mancini told the Manchester

Evening News. “I hope that we can close a deal, but I don’t know

when.” The Italian is also keen to get De Jong back into his

starting line-up with the 26-year-old having been sidelined since

August with a bruised foot. De Jong did make a return as a

substitute for City during their Champions League defeat against

Bayern Munich, but has since only been unused from the bench on

three occasions for both club and country. “Nigel is an important

player for us,” added Mancini. “He had a big problem because he had

a big injury for 40 days. “Now he is OK, and I hope we can close

this deal with Nigel – in the next week, in the next month, I don’t

know – but Nigel has two years left on his contract.”