As a Chelsea FC supporter I can only sit here and scratch my head in disbelief. The entirety of the last two and a half transfer windows was spent reading rumors about Antonio Conte, Chelsea’s manager, chasing after AS Roma’s Belgian midfielder Radja Nainggolan. Whether the reports were Nainggolan not wanting to leave his “perfect life” at Roma or the club itself demanding too much money (£60M) nothing ever materialized after almost 18 months of courting. Sorry let me clarify, nothing every materialized with Chelsea but it did with Inter Milan of all teams and it happened almost overnight.
That’s right Inter Milan just acquired Radja Nainggolan in exchange for £21M and players Davide Santon and Nicolo Zaniolo (neither of which are marquee names). It’s staggering that is the deal that Roma would accept. Nearly a third less than what Chelsea was offering. And what did Roma do with that money? They signed PSG midfielder Javier Pastore as a replacement.
It’s just mind boggling THAT was the price that landed Nainggolan at Inter. I can’t wrap my head around Chelsea paying £35M for Danny Drinkwater and Nainggolan goes for this. Sure he had a down season compared to prior years and he was left off the World Cup roster but Nainggolan is a tank in the midfield and has made the Serie A Team of the Season three times. He and Kante would’ve been a wrecking ball in the midfield and I can only shake my head at how Chelsea botched this after chasing him for two years.
My tweet actually made a Chelsea news website after the transfer was made official: