Nigel de Jong happy at Manchester City

 

Nigel de Jong wants to stay with Manchester City.

The future of the Blues midfielder has been the subject of intense debate as his contract is due to expire at the end of next season.

So far he has failed to agree another, even though City officials are adamant they want the combative 26-year-old to extend his stay at the Etihad Stadium.

Now De Jong has provided more grounds for optimism by stating his own hopes for the future.

"There is no concern about my contract," he said.

"I have spoken my mind, it is up to the club to decide what they want to do now.

"I have been here for three years and I am happy.

"I am here to win prizes. We won the FA Cup last season, now we are doing well in the Premier League. For me there is no reason to move on."

It is welcome news for City, even if the words themselves do not bring a new deal any nearer.

Indeed, the table-topping Blues are in the box seat in any contract negotiations given how Carlos Tevez has gone from being indispensable to someone manager Roberto Mancini can happily do without in the space of 12 months.

Tevez will again be absent tomorrow when City take on a Napoli outfit who stand between them and a place in the Champions League last 16.

The Serie A outfit claimed a point at the Etihad Stadium in September as City struggled to adapt to their new surroundings.

And though Mancini's side have stabilised their position since, he knows no trip to the imposing San Paolo stadium will be easy, even if he can dredge into his own personal memory bank for victories there, including one against a side containing legendary Argentina star Diego Maradona.

"I played there for 20 years," said Mancini.

"I scored goals, I lost, I won.

"But Napoli are a very famous team who won two Scudetto with Maradona.

"Then they had economic problems and went down to Serie C.

"But with the new owner they are back now and doing very well.

"There will be 70,000 people in the stadium and the atmosphere will be fantastic, totally different from any other stadium in Italy.

"It will be important for us to focus on the game and not concede a lot of space for Naples because they are a fantastic team."

PA

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