Chelsea are set to miss out on long-term target Radjia Nainggolan as the Roma midfielder was pictured having a medical with Inter Milan yesterday.
The 30 year-old met Chelsea manager Antonio Conte for talks over a potential transfer two summers ago, and had expressed his desire to play in the Premier League, but has opted to move across Italy to play under Luciano Spaletti instead of playing at Stamford Bridge.
The news comes as another blow for the Blues in the transfer market, as the club seek to find alternative options for their midfield which currently contains transfer flops Tiemoune Bakayoko and Ross Barkley.
And Nainggolan, who was snubbed by Belgium boss Roberto Martinez for his World Cup squad despite helping Roma reach a Champions League semi-final, has snubbed Chelsea for a second time after turning down a move in 2016.
Last month, Nainggolan told The Times, “I like English football, I love to watch the English games too, but I’m almost 30 now. Starting over again? It’s difficult to even think about that”.
“And I hate the rain. We were in Liverpool two days and it didn’t stop raining. It was cold too”.
Nainggolan is set to join Inter Milan, who qualified for the Champions League for the first time in six years, following a dramatic final day battle against Lazio. It is believed the Belgian international will join for a £25.5 million fee, and Nainggolan will be Inter’s fifth signing of the summer, following the acquisitions of striker Lautaro Martinez, defender Stephan De Vrij, winger Kwadwo Asamoah and left-back Federico Dimarco.
Following this latest blow, the Blues may turn to Jean-Michel Seri, with the Nice midfielder reportedly available for £35 million, but may face competition from Arsenal and Barcelona, who have both expressed an interest in signing the Ivorian over the past twelve months.
It has been a very difficult few months for Chelsea Football Club, who had to settle for Europa League qualification after a fifth-placed finish in the Premier League. And with Roman Abramovich’s UK visa issues still unresolved, Antonio Conte’s future as manager not confirmed by the club, and no signs of making any transfers, this could be a long summer for Blues.