In focus: Chelsea given promising Nainggolan boost

Roma have reportedly informed Chelsea that Belgian midfielder Radja Nainggolan will be free to leave the Italian giants at the end of the 2016-17 campaign.

According to La Gazzetta dello Sport, Roma need to balance the books at the end of the season, and will therefore be open to allowing the 28-year-old to seek pastures new.

What’s the story?

Chelsea are seemingly breezing towards the Premier League title this season, but it is expected to be a busy summer for head coach Antonio Conte as he looks to put together a squad capable of competing across a number of competitions.

Cesc Fabregas is widely expected to leave Stamford Bridge this summer, and despite the presence of N’Golo Kante and Nemanja Matic, the Blues were not exactly well-stocked in the middle of the park.

Roma’s Nainggolan was believed to be in talks over a move to Chelsea last summer, but the Belgian ultimately decided to remain in Serie A.

According to La Gazzetta dello Sport, Roma value Nainggolan in the region of £35m, which is a figure that the Premier League side are prepared to pay at the end of the season.

Is he right for Chelsea?

When signing players from abroad, there is always a worry that they might not be quite right for the Premier League. It has happened too often in recent seasons, and Chelsea cannot really afford to make a £35m mistake despite the wealth of owner Roman Abramovich.

Nainggolan’s statistics speak for themselves this season, however, with the 28-year-old scoring nine times and providing three assists in 30 Serie A appearances.

He has also scored twice in four Coppa Italia appearances, whilst there is no question that he has the physical capabilities to cope with the rigours of football in the top flight of England.

Nainggolan also has that little bit of nastiness, which when used in the right way, is key in the Premier League. He is not the type of player that goes hiding in a battle situation, which is what Chelsea will need in their assault on the Champions League next season.

The midfielder has not exactly made his name as a goalscoring midfielder, but his statistics this season are very impressive. Meanwhile, at 28, he is the perfect age to boost Chelsea’s squad.