Chelsea manager Antonio Conte has confirmed the Blues have tried to signed Roma midfielder Radja Nainggolan in the past, but they have now dropped their interest in the Belgian international.
Speaking at his pre-match press conference yesterday, the Chelsea boss was asked about the midfielder with the Blues facing Roma at Stamford Bridge this evening. Conte was quoted as saying he admired the 29 year old’s ability:
“In the past, yes, we tried to buy him. But now Nainggolan is Roma’s player and I have great respect for him and for Roma, and also for my players. He’s a really good player. For me, one of the best midfielders. But he’s an opponent.”
After the sale of Nemanja Matic to Manchester United for £40m this summer, Chelsea then signed two players to strengthen the centre of midfield in Monaco’s Tiemoue Bakayoko and Leicester City’s Danny Drinkwater.
Nainggolan meanwhile signed a contract extension with Roma at the end of July, keeping him at the Italian club until 2021 when he will be 33. The Belgian has played his entire professional career in Italy having made his debut for Piacenza before playing for Cagliari. He made the switch to his current club in 2014.