Manchester United are favourites to sign Radja Nainggolan

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Manchester United are favourites to sign AS Roma midfielder Radja Nainggolan ahead of Chelsea, Arsenal and Liverpool.

This is according to the Express, who cite reports in Italy as claiming that the Belgium international favours a move to Old Trafford if he leaves his current employers this summer.

Nainggolan signed a permanent deal with AS Roma last summer following a loan move to the Stadio Olimpico from former club Cagliari, and has since established his status as a key player under Rudi Garcia.

Kevin Strootman alternative

His committed performances have caught the eye of the aforementioned Premier League clubs, who could all enter battle to sign the 26-year-old at the end of the season.

Nainggolan has stepped up in the absence of Kevin Strootman, the Netherlands international who remains high on the radar of Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal.

Van Gaal based his team around the 24-year-old Strootman during his spell in charge of the Oranje and continues to be strongly linked with the holding midfielder, but a move is now in serious doubt after the Dutch star was struck down with yet another knee injury.

A knee injury kept Strootman out of most of 2014 - including the World Cup finals in Brazil - and new scans revealed fresh cartilage damage last week, ruling him out of the rest of the season.

Nainggolan: £30m star

Nainggolan, who turns 27 in May, has shown himself to be a more than worthy replacement for Strootman in AS Roma’s first team.

Arguably a more dynamic player than Strootman, with a penchant for tough tackles, Nainggolan may lack the same guile as his Dutch teammate but more than makes up for the difference in class with his energy and drive.

The Belgian ace has also demonstrated that he can score goals from midfield. From 19 league appearances so far this season, Nainggolan has hit the back of the net three times.

The Express understand that the Red Devils would need to fork out around £30 million to acquire the midfielder’s services - a significant fee, but one cheaper than the price AS Roma would demand for their prized asset, the injury-prone Strootman.

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AS Roma
Premier League
Kevin Strootman
Manchester United
Transfer News
Serie A

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