Long rumoured to be moving to the Premier League, oddsmaker BETVictor believes Belgian midfielder Radja Nainggolan could finally make the jump this season from AS Roma.
League champions Chelsea and Europa League winners Manchester United share the same favourite odds (3/1) of bringing the 29-year old to the Premier League.
Both sides are expected to improve their midfield options this summer and Nainggolan would be an excellent addition to either side, but I expect Antonio Conte to get his man.
The Belgian was a star at Euro 2016 and carried that momentum into this past season.
The midfielder scored 15 goals in all competitions for Roma this season, more than his previous two and a half seasons at the club combined. His 11 league goals were the third-most on the team as he started in 35 of his 37 Series A appearances.
Chelsea’s manager attempted to bring Nainggolan to Stamford Bridge ahead of his first season in charge and international teammates Eden Hazard and Thibaut Courtois were also in the his ear but to no avail. But after watching Conte and company dominate the Premier League this past season, Nainggolan should join up with his compatriots to defend the title.
Roma finished this past season just four points behind Serie A champions Juventus, the closest gap since 2011-12, but the club is unlikely to either repeat that feat or overtake the champions this season. Arsenal goalkeeper Wojciech Szczęsny is unlikely to return after a two-year loan spell with the Wolves while star winger Mohamed Salah is expected to complete a move to Liverpool soon.
Joining Chelsea represents Nainggolan’s best chance to win his first title of any sort and play in arguably the world’s best league. Nemanja Matic or Cesc Fàbregas could potentially leave the champions this summer so Nainggolan would fit a need for the Blues and Antonio Conte. Despite his obvious talent, it would be difficult for the Belgian to dethrone United’s midfield duo of Paul Pogba and Ander Herrera.
Therefore, playing at Stamford Bridge should be the only thing on Nainggolan’s summer wishlist.