Radja Nainggolan has refused to rule out a move to either Chelsea or Barcelona this summer but insists that he will not leave AS Roma to play for Juventus.
The midfielder has been hotly linked with Stamford Bridge ever since the rumours first inferred that Antonio Conte would be the next manager to take the helm there, and his most recent comments did very little to rubbish that notion.
Nainggolan on his future
When asked about his future, the 27-year-old - he turns 28 next month - was quick to hint that thissummer might see him move clubs if the right suitors show interest.
"I haven't heard from anyone yet, I don't even know if it's true they [Chelsea] want me," Nainggolan told Il Tiempo, as relayed by FourFourTwo.
"I even read a story in the newspaper that I told my friends I'm going to Chelsea – it's ridiculous. The truth is I can't talk about things I don't know about yet.
"If they call me, am I not supposed to talk? At the moment I am giving everything for Roma, as I always have done. I am happy, my family is too, so even if I continued my career here, I would be happy.
"However, if Barcelona come looking for me, which player would say he'd dislike playing for the most important club in the world? I'd be an idiot to say such things."
No Juve move
Above all else, however, he confirmed there was no way he would betray Roma fans by moving to one of their closest Serie A rivals.
"I already rejected their proposals several times. They wanted me and I never accepted. I just don't see myself with the Juve colours on me.
"Why? I don't want to stir up controversy. Let's just say it's like seeing a girl you're just not attracted to. That's it. I thought that even before coming to Roma."
Chelsea vs Barca?
Obviously, the pull of Barcelona is a strong one for any player, but the fact that he talked so openly about Chelsea is what most fans will find impossible to ignore.
If it’s true that Conte is to replace Guus Hiddink once this summer’s Euros are out of the way, then it makes sense to assume that Italy will be an area upon which he focuses his transfer gaze.
A number of Serie A stars have left the league for pastures new in recent years, and Nainggolan is a player who finds himself talked about virtually every transfer window.
Of course, judging from his comments it would appear it’s Barca who would have the advantage in any transfer battle, but that might not deter Conte, who, one would deduce, has a stellar reputation in Italy.
It may all be by-the-by if Chelsea fail to secure European football for next season, but make sure you let us know what you think. Thoughts and opinions have their home in the comments box below.
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