Midfielder confirms ‘concrete’ interest from Chelsea, and even talks about negotiations

Radja Nainggolan has been linked with a move to the Premier League for a number of years, with Chelsea being the club most often pushed forward.

Whilst many of the claims, generally pushed by English tabloids, were over the top and taking a leap further than things actually were, last summer there was some interest from the newly crowned Premier League champions.

Antonio Conte will know Nainggolan well from the manager’s time at Juventus, and whilst getting him to Turin may have been impossible, with Nainggolan going public to say he wouldn’t accept such a move, the manager obviously thought he’d have a better chance with Chelsea.

Speaking to Belgian newspaper HLN, Nainggolan has been asked about various transfer opportunities.

He talked down a possible switch to China which was heavily rumoured in the winter transfer window, but made it clear it’s not a route he’d completely rule out at some stage, given the financial security it could provide his family for generations.

When it came to Chelsea, the AS Roma midfielder explained:

“Conte wanted to get me to Chelsea last year, that was quite concrete, so we talked to each other, he told me about his plans and asked if I was interested. But everything did not weigh up against what I have at AS Roma.”

Asked if he fears the day Roma may force him to leave, wanting to cash in, Nainggolan replied:

“Ultimately, I still decide for myself, hey, I’ve always done that in my career.

“When Roma says I have to leave, I will reply that I have a three-year contract, I’m just too happy here. Same in football as in lifestyle, look around you, I do not have it that bad, do I?”

No, Radja, Rome isn’t too bad a place to live, and that swimming pool looks lovely.

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