Radja Nainggolan has revealed he didn’t join Chelsea because the Blues were shocked at his wages and what they offered him was barely a payrise on what he was earning in Italy.
The Belgium star was a priority target for Antonio Conte in 2017, with the Italian desperate to sign Nainggolan as his box-to-box midfielder at Stamford Bridge.
Chelsea made a series of bids for the then-Roma star but despite the club’s willingness to deal with the Blues, Nainggolan opted to stay in Italy.
Conte was furious that Chelsea failed to make a significant enough offer to the midfielder to persuade him to join the Blues and the Italian left the club the following summer, having fallen out with the board.
Nainggolan has now revealed that Chelsea were surprised at how much he was earning at Roma and that their offer wasn’t enough to convince him to leave Italy.
‘If I was thinking about money, I would have had a very different career, but I never cared about money. I could have gone to Juventus after Cagliari and also after Roma, just as I could have gone to Chelsea,’ said Nainggolan.
“I said I would never go to Juve, but not because I hate the Juventus team, as someone wrote on social media, but simply because I like to win against the strongest.
‘In those years the strongest team was Juve and I wanted to play against them. That was my challenge. Going to Juve, playing five games and winning everything was not winning for me.’