NAINGGOLAN: I COULD HAVE GONE TO CHELSEA, BUT…

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Roma midfielder Radja Nainggolan was strongly linked with a move to Chelsea in Antonio Conte’s debut season, but a move never materialised.

The Belgian was highly sought after and even after reports claimed Roma and Chelsea had agreed a deal for him, a move to Stamford Bridge never happened.

Nainggolan has now admitted that he could have moved to London, but cited family reasons as one of the key factor that made the deal fail.

“I could have gone to Chelsea and many other clubs, but starting something new when you are 28, 29, in a new culture, another lifestyle, that’s not for me,” he told Belgium’s Sport Voetbal Magazine.

“I prefer to stay where I feel good.”

He added: “If money were my only motivation, I would have changed clubs many times and my salary would have grown, but my first priority is to live well.

“You need to live well and be happy playing where you are and I have both of those things here. Everything is perfect; my family is happy in Rome.

“There are lots of good restaurants and it’s a good place to go shopping. When friends or family come to visit, you can send them almost anywhere.

“I’m liked at the club and the supporters are behind me. I’ve given a lot on the field and I get a lot of respect for that.

“As a footballer, that’s one of the best things you can get. I grew up in Antwerp, but I became a man in Italy. As things stand, I can see myself living in Rome in later life.”

About the Author

VICTOR N
Chelsea is more than just a football club to me; it's a passion I share, and my affinity with the Chelsea badge is one that will last forever. As far as watching my favourite team is concerned, I'd rather miss a meal than miss a Chelsea game.