Royal Antwerp midfielder Radja Nainggolan has revealed he turned down Chelsea earlier in his career because they didn’t offer him enough money.
Nainggolan has spent most of his career in Italy, having joined Piacenza as a youngster and worked his way up from there.
He eventually ended up at Roma, where he established himself as a star for four years before a move to Inter Milan in 2018.
A year there didn’t work out as planned, so he spent the next two years out on loan at Cagliari before a free transfer back to his homeland with Royal Antwerp.
While his career is now very much on the decline, at one point, he was the star of the show in the Italian capital, managing 33 goals and 28 assists in 203 games for the club as well as regularly featuring in the Belgian national team.
His performances did not go unnoticed, and he was regularly linked to the likes of Chelsea and Manchester United during that time.
And according to him, Chelsea even made an approach to sign him, courtesy of then manager Antonio Conte.
“Antonio Conte was coach of the Blues at the time and wanted to bring me to England,” he told the MidMidPodcast, relayed by VoetbalKrant.
“However, they were shocked when they heard what I was earning in Rome.
“They ended up offering €750,000 more, but I didn’t want to move to England for that amount. That’s why that transfer eventually fell through.”