AS Roma midfielder Radja Nainggolan has revealed that he rejected an opportunity to join Chelsea and other European clubs in order to continue at the Stadio Olimpico.
The 29-year-old moved to the Italian capital – initially on loan from Cagilari – in 2014. His impressive display for the I Giallorossi has seen him make it to the Serie A Team of the Year for three years in a row.
Nainggolan has been a regular inclusion in Roma's starting lineup since joining them. He has been contributing when his side moves forward, with goals and assists. He has two goals and four assists in 21 league starts this term. He scored 11 goals and made five assists in the league in the last campaign.
Antonio Conte moved to Stamford Bridge in the summer of 2016. Since the former Juventus manager's arrival at the west London club, the Belgium international has continued to be linked with a move to the Premier League winners.
The Chelsea boss confirmed his side's failed approach in signing the 29-year-old. The Roma star stressed that he is happy with his current employers.
"I could have gone to Chelsea and many other clubs, but starting something knew when you are 28, 29, in a new culture, another lifestyle, that's not for me," Nainggolan told Sport Voetbal Magazine.
"I prefer to stay where I feel good. If money would have been my only motivation, I would have changed clubs many times and my salary would have grown, but my first priority is to live well.
"You need to live well and be happy playing where you are and I have both of those things here. Everything is perfect; my family is happy in Rome.
"There are lots of good restaurants and it's a good place to go shopping. When friends or family come to visit, you can send them almost anywhere.
"I'm liked at the club and the supporters are behind me. I've given a lot on the field and I get a lot of respect for that. As a footballer, that's one of the best things you can get...
"I grew up in Antwerp, but I became a man in Italy. As things stand, I can see myself living in Rome in later life and having a second house in Antwerp."