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Roma midfielder Radja Nainggolan confirmed that he had an offer to join Premier League club Chelsea but rejected the move in the summer. There were about three bids that the Blues had prepared- the highest one being £33 million. But the Belgium international instead opted to remain at Roma and committed his future at the club with a new four-year contract.
“Was I close to moving to the Premier League? There was contact,” he told Sky Sports Italy (via Daily Express). “But then I quickly decided to remain.”
Nainggolan had previously revealed that Blues manager Antonio Conte attempted to lure him to Stamford Bridge over the summer, as well as during his time at Juventus. But even then the combative midfielder had no hesitation is deciding his future was to lie at Roma.
“He already wanted me when he was the Juve manager, but I’d already said I would never leave Roma for Juve. Now he tries to get me to Chelsea.” added Nainggolan on Conte.
“I know Chelsea are a big club, but I have to take several things into account. It’s not easy to leave Italy behind after 12 years. I won’t leave for a small difference.
“Conte told me what he expects from me and what type of player I can be for him. I’ll never be a player who’ll score 20 goals or give 20 assists.
“I’m not the one who’ll be in the picture all the time, but I can be important for a team. A manager who appreciates that is important for me.”
Chelsea turned their attention to N’Golo Kante at Leicester after missing out on Nainggolan and landed the France midfielder for £32million and the midfielder has been superb for them ever since.
But with the January window coming closer, Conte and Chelsea will be entering the market again to purchase quality signings to push for their title charge. Chelsea are looking to swoop in for Nainggolan’s Serie A colleagues, Marcelo Brozovic and Franck Kessie.
Chelsea are currently first in the Premier League with a six point gap between 2nd placed Liverpool.