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 By Ben Gladwell

Orlando City hopeful of signing Antonio Nocerino ahead of D.C. United

Antonio Nocerino AC Milan
Antonio Nocerino's discovery rights are owned by D.C. United.

Orlando City coach Adrian Heath has spoken of his hope of signing AC Milan midfielder Antonio Nocerino.

While Nocerino, 30, currently remains contracted to Milan, D.C. United own his discovery rights -- as they first expressed an interest in bringing the player to Major League Soccer -- meaning in theory he should be joining them after being released by Milan.

However, Orlando boss Heath says his club are also keen on working with Nocerino and are closing in on a deal to sign the midfielder.

An agreement would first have to be struck with D.C. before convincing Nocerino to move to Orlando, although the player has not yet rescinded his contract with Milan. That is nevertheless unlikely to be an obstacle with both the club and Nocerino keen on going separate ways.

"We've been trying, we've been trying all weekend," Heath is quoted as saying by the Orlando Sentinel. "So hopefully something might have happened this morning while we've been out training. But certainly we've been active over the weekend. We thought we were close and then it went off the boil a little bit, but as of last night it was back on. So we're hopeful."

Meanwhile, Nigel De Jong has bid farewell to Milan as both he also prepares for a move to MLS.

De Jong, 31, is set to sign for LA Galaxy after reaching an agreement with the Serie A side to terminate his contract prematurely on Monday.

He posted a message on Twitter thanking the Italian club for all they gave him and wishing them well for the future.

"The moment has come to move on to the next chapter in my career," wrote the Dutchman. "But first I want to take this time to say a couple of words. I would like to thank AC Milan for giving me the opportunity playing for this jersey the last couple of years.

"I would like to thank my teammates, coaches, staff and people working in and around Milanello for always making me feel I was part of their family. And of course as last the fans, that supported me from day one, in good and bad times.

"Always respected and honoured the logo on that black and red jersey, and tried to defend it with 100 percent commitment. I want to wish everybody with a red and black heart all the best in the future and hope Milan will rise up again! Regards, Nigel de Jong."

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