Radja Nainggolan did say Chelsea were in contact with Roma, but also that “money isn’t everything and it rains all the time in England.”
The Belgium international midfielder gave a lengthy interview to magazine Nina, which accompanies newspaper Het Laatste Nieuws, and certain quotes were released ahead of time.
However, the full text gave a rather different idea of how he sees the transfer speculation.
“Going to Chelsea would be an opportunity, as I’d improve as a player and in economic terms. But money isn’t the most important thing and I don’t think I could improve my current quality of life.
“I built my home in Rome, where the sun always shines. Giving all this up would be difficult. Life isn’t just football. Can you see me in England, where it rains all the time?”
Nainggolan has been living in Italy for 11 years, first in Sardinia with Cagliari and then at Roma, while he married an Italian woman and they have two children.
“Am I a star? No, that’s Leo Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, people who also know how to behave off the field. That’s why I admire Eden Hazard: he’s the best player in Belgium and the fairest guy I know.
“I will keep on playing until I am 33 or 34, then the moment will come to really stay close to my wife and two daughters.
“I grew up in a rough neighbourhood, without money and without a father. Football was my salvation and I could’ve gone down a bad path.
“This is why it makes me happy to help other people. I give away a lot of the extras I receive from my work, because I don’t need them.”
Nainggolan was also asked about his extensive collection of tattoos.
“I think I’m done now, as I don’t have any on my legs. The most important tattoo is the one on my back, marking my mother’s dates of birth and death.”
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