Roma midfielder explains why he rejected Chelsea move

Date published: Wednesday 28th February 2018 9:38

Roma midfielder Radja Nainggolan has explained why he rejected a move to Chelsea.

Nainggolan has been linked with the Stamford Bridge club ever since Antonio Conte was appointed as manager in summer 2016.

Conte is thought to have targeted the Belgian after being impressed with his Serie A performances, but Nainggolan turned down the move in consecutive years.

The midfielder says he is happy in Roma and, as he nears the age of 30, is reluctant to start “something new”.

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

“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.”

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