Radja Nainggolan coy over future – Manchester United interested?

Radja Nainggolan is a 29-year-old midfielder currently playing for AS Roma in the Serie A in Italy. The Belgian international may be the type of player United are looking for, one to compliment both Paul Pogba and Ander Herrera, also a player to alleviate the reliance on Michael Carrick, who has recently signed a new one-year contract with Manchester United. Nainggolan is a teammate of midfielder Marouane Fellaini, a player who could be sold in the summer with a few clubs looking into the possibilities of signing him, reportedly his house is up for sale too. Nainggolan is not young but has plenty to offer. A few years ago, he was a player many United supporters wanted at the club, a player who would severely strengthen the midfield, even now.

What is being reported and by who?

The Mirror have reported that the Belgium international has refused to rule out a move to the Old Trafford club this summer. The player, linked with United previously over the past few years, scored eleven goals in the Serie A during the past season as AS Roma finished in second place to UEFA Champions League finalists Juventus. Roma coach Luciano Spalletti left the club earlier in the month to become the coach for Serie A rivals Inter Milan, which seems to have raised suggestions in the media that many players could opt to leave the Italian side this summer. The 29-year-old was coy about his future when asked, suggesting he would think about his future whilst on holiday, in effect ruling out anything happening in the immediate future, saying:

“It may be true. It may not be true. We’ll see. I am going on holiday and then we will talk about it. My thoughts are to go on holiday and relax myself, I am not thinking about my future right now. I’ve spoken enough about this and what I want. I have made a promise [to Roma] that I intend to maintain; now it’s up to other people.”

What type of player is Radja Nainggolan?

Nainggolan has been touted as one of the best and most complete midfielders in Europe based on his ability to aid his team both in attack and defence. Imagine him in a midfield trio of Paul Pogba and Ander Herrera, all of the players able to attack, defend and play with the ball at their feet. Nainggolan is a quick and dynamic player, he works hard and it physically strong. The reliance of Marouane Fellaini to bring the physicality to the midfield would no longer be there, especially is Nainggolan became his replacement. Nainggolan is versatile, meaning he can play in a number of midfield positions, that would mean that opposition teams would not really know what position he will be playing, which could also change throughout the match depending on whether United needed to score goals or defend their lead. Over the past season, with the midfield United had, that was a problem. The Belgian possesses good vision, a reader of the game, something which would give an additional player this ability with Carrick the player doing this at this moment in time at the club.Nainggolan’s passing range is good as is his technique. The player normally sits deep in midfield, just ahead of the defensive line, a la Carrick, used as the playmaker the majority of the time. At 29, he is younger than Carrick, has a lot to give right now and would be a benefit to the team, however, his time at United may not last with Mourinho having to seek a replacement for the player in a few years time. United do need a player like Nainggolan right now though. Fabinho would also be a good fit too.

Likelihood of the transfer?

Jose Mourinho will be looking for many targets this summer and whilst Nainggolan’s name has not come up recently, that does not mean that he is not a target for the Old Trafford club. Nainggolan at 29 still has a lot to offer and Mourinho has a habit of bringing in players that fit his way of life, players he can rely on to do what he wants his team to do on the pitch. A few year ago now many supporters would have jumped at the chance to sign Nainggolan. I remember many wanted Daniele De Rossi, despite his age a few years back, but now many will moan at the player’s age, just like they did about Zlatan Ibrahimovic, as those older than 27 just cannot cut it in the Premier League. To me, age does not matter, just as long as the player is performing at the best of his abilities. which makes him a better option than players currently at the club. Marouane Fellaini is a player many would like to see shown the door this summer, if that happens, Nainggolan would be an upgrade. Do I think there is anything in this transfer right now? Probably not. The player has answered a question in the way where it will ask more questions than were answered, allowing the media to speculate, which is what this is right now.

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