Chelsea are keeping tabs on Roma midfielder Radja Nainggolan

By Harry Sykes

Chelsea are preparing a January bid for Roma midfielder Radja Nainggolan, according to a report.

Belgian publication Nieuwsblad claim the Premier League giants are ready to reignite their pursuit of the Belgium international after he rejected a transfer to Stamford Bridge last summer.

It is said that Chelsea offered Nainggolan a “generous” contract but the player decided to stay put at the Stadio Olympico.

Roma reportedly told the 28-year-old he would be offered a new deal but it has failed to materialise and the player is now ready to listen to a fresh proposal from the English club.

Antonio Conte is a big fan of Nainggolan and believes he would be an ideal addition to a team that maintained their place at the Premier League summit with a 2-1 win over Tottenham on Saturday.

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The Belgium international has made 19 appearances in all competitions for Roma this season and is regarded as a key player in central midfield for the Serie A club.

He joined the capital outfit in the summer of 2014 from Cagliari and has made 127 appearances for Roma, scoring 15 goals and providing 12 assists.

Football Insider verdict:

Nemanja Matic and summer signing N’Golo Kante have emerged as the favoured central midfield partnership at Chelsea this season but the rumours about Nainggolan will not go away. The Belgian is a midfield enforcer who is adept at breaking up the play and giving the ball to those better able to create and score goals. He is similar in stature to the diminutive Kante but he is more likely to be regarded as a replacement for the more physically imposing Matic. The Serbian has returned to close to his best this season but could make way for the more intense Nainggolan. It appears another concerted pursuit from Chelsea is imminent.

In other Chelsea news, the club are to open talks with a 24-year-old south American and a four-year deal will be offered.