De Jong signs extension at AC Milan
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AC Milan were given a boost after their early mercato failures, as holding man Nigel de Jong signed an extension until 2018 despite reported interest from other clubs.

It seemed certain the Dutchman would be letting his contract run down before seeking pastures new, but he has clearly had a change of heart, and negotiations moved quickly to secure his future at the San Siro.

A key player

Having played 90 matches since his arrival following the 2012 European Championships, he has been involved in a number of key moments during the past three years.

His header was the winning goal in the second Derby della Madonnina of the 2013/14 season, as Milan won the game 1-0, and in the past season he scored a tremendous solo effort goal away at Parma as Il Diavolo won the game 5-4. 

In addition, he bagged the decisive goal in Milan's cup victory against Sassuolo at the San Siro, his first in the competition.

Milan's search for a holding midfielder over?

Having been linked with the likes of Geoffrey Kondogbia (who eventually joined rivals Inter) and Axel Witsel, Milan were in all likelihood preparing for life without their number 34.

However, this extension perhaps changes coach Sinisa Mihajlovic's plans for the mercato, and he can instead look to reinforce other areas and raise bids on other key targets.

Of course, Milan still need help in the midfield department, but with Andrea Bertolacci reportedly close to signing they may have the creativity problem solved.

Door open for departures?

The news of De Jong committing his future to the red-and-black may be the final nail in the coffin for Michael Essien and Sulley Muntari, both of whom were fully expected to depart the club regardless of the extension status.

This may be part of a mass exodus at Milan as the Serbian Mihajlovic begins to put his mark on the squad and begins his work rebuilding this fallen giant.