Radja Nainggolan, the Roma midfielder, has admitted that he is considering a move to Chelsea having spoken with international team-mates Eden Hazard and Thibaut Courtois.
The 28-year-old is thought to be high on the wishlist of Antonio Conte, Chelsea’s incoming head coach, as the Italian seeks to bolster his new club’s options in midfield.
Hazard and Courtois, two of Nainggolan’s Belgium team-mates, are also eager for their compatriot to join them at club level and have urged him to consider the move.
Nainggolan, however, has insisted that he will only consider leaving Serie A if the transfer is right for him.
“He [Conte] already wanted me when he was the Juventus manager, but I’d already said I would never leave Roma for Juve,” he said. “Now he tries to get me to Chelsea.
“They (Hazard and Courtois) have told me to join them. I know Chelsea are a big club, but I have to take several things into account.
“It’s not easy to leave Italy behind after 12 years. I need to become better because of the transfer. In all ways. I won’t leave for a small difference,” Nainggolan added.
The Belgium international, who is currently on duty with Marc Wilmots’ side at the European Championships, has four years remaining on his contract at Roma, having signed for the club from Cagliari in 2014.
“People have been talking for 10 years that I will be joining another team, but I’ve only played for three clubs so far,” he added.
“You could say ‘why not try it in England?’ But you can ask the question the other way too – ‘why would I leave everything behind to fail over there’.
“Conte told me what he expects from me and what type of player I can be for him. I’ll never be a player who’ll score 20 goals or give 20 assists. I’m not the one who’ll be in the picture all the time, but I can be important for a team. A manager who appreciates that is important for me.”
Nainggolan will come up against Conte in Belgium’s opening game of the Euro 2016 on Monday, when his side face Italy in Lyon.
Conte will assume control at Chelsea once he has fulfilled his duties as Italy’s head coach and their participation in this summer’s tournament is over.