It was always coming. After several attempts made to extend his contract, the signs pointed to Nigel De Jong leaving AC Milan.
Touting that he;s a player who always wants to win, he dropped the biggest assurance that he may look for a fresh challenge elsewhere during an interview on Milan's official website: "I'm currently a Milan player, but we'll have to see for next season."
De Jong, at thirty, is still a very talented player and one of the best at his position. When he is on the team, there is balance and the attacking player are allowed to do their jobs without worrying too much of the consequences. Inversely, the defenders can feel safe knowing that he is in front of them and that they only have to exert themselves as a last-ditch effort. There's not too many defensive midfielders who can give their team that much confidence.
With that being said, he deserves to be in Europe, specifically the Champions league. There are teams interested, one of course being Manchester United who have been after him for years. More now with Louis Van Gaal as their manager.
The best thing to do now is to look for a replacement. Maybe we can get Thiago Motta after all.