Nainggolan played well against Real Madrid on Wednesday.

Manchester United eyeing Roma playmaker Radja Nainggolan

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Whoever takes over as Manchester United manager in the summer is likely to have an almighty amount of money to spend.

If that man is Jose Mourinho then Roma midfielder Radja Nainggolan will be high on the transfer target list, according to The Sun.

The midfielder is valued at £22.5 million and the 27-year-old is seen as the ideal player to ease United’s central midfield worries.

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The Red Devils have struggled in that department this season despite the purchases of Bastian Schweinsteiger and Morgan Schneiderlin in the summer.

Schweinsteiger and Schneiderlin have struggled with injuries at times this campaign while Ander Herrera seems to be out of favour with Louis van Gaal.

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Michael Carrick’s contract expires at the end of the season and has been linked with a move to Premier League rivals Arsenal while Marouane Fellaini is still struggling to win over the fans.

Nainggolan only signed a permanent deal with Roma in the summer but has impressed throughout this campaign, making 27 appearances in all competitions.

The Belgian demonstrated that he could compete at the highest level during Roma’s Champions League clash against Real Madrid on Wednesday night.

AS Roma v Real Madrid - UEFA Champions League Round of 16: First Leg

The tough tackling playmaker enjoyed a battle in a midfield three against Luka Modric, Toni Kroos and Isco, despite the Italian side losing 2-0.

As Nainggolan only signed for Roma in the summer, he still has four years remaining on his current deal.

Splash the cash

However, the fact that United will have to splash extra cash due to the length of his contract is unlikely to faze them.

The club have spent almost £250 million in the previous two seasons.

United’s executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward has had to defend the club’s transfer policy recently as the Red Devils have under performed considering the money they have spent.

Woodward has been put under even more scrutiny by table-topping Leicester City, who assembled their team for just £22 million.

Arsenal v Leicester City - Premier League

Woodward said: “Some players are brought by clubs with an eye to them developing into something special in a few years’ time.

“There’s a bit more pressure on some of the other clubs to bring in players who are going to hit the ground running and be top players, verging on world-class immediately.

“So there is a slightly different market in which people are buying. Leicester is a fantastic reference point for everybody this year."

Lack of Champions League appeal

But, it appears United will have to spend big again this summer in an attempt to attract the best players.

Van Gaal’s side are fourth, six points behind Manchester City in their quest to secure a top four finish and Champions League qualification for next season.

Manchester United v Stoke City - Premier League

With Roma sitting in fourth - just two points off Fiorentina in third - Nainggolan’s side could well be participating in Europe’s elite competition once again next campaign.

That means it would take big wages - or an inspirational manager like Mourinho - to attract Nainggolan to Old Trafford.

Manchester United fans: Would Radja Nainggolan be a good signing? Let us know in the comments box below!

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