AS Roma midfielder, Radja Nainggolan has revealed why he rejected a move to Chelsea to remain in Italy back in 2016 (via The Evening Standard).
He’s a player who has been the subject of interest from Chelsea for a number of years but never was a potential deal for Radja Nainggolan closer than it was in 2016.
Antonio Conte had just arrived at Stamford Bridge and reportedly wanted to build a team around the Belgian midfielder.
The deal collapsed and Nainggolan signed a new contract to keep him in Serie a until 2020 and now, the 29-year-old has revealed why.
“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. I prefer to stay where I feel good,” he told Belgium’s Sport Voetbal Magazine.
“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.
“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.”
It’s hard to blame Radja Nainggolan for not moving knowing his reasons. He was a relatively late bloomer for a footballer and to make such a big move at 28 could’ve been disastrous for him.