While we bask in the glow of Italy's 2-0 victory over Spain in this afternoon's round of 16 match at Euro 2016, it seems as though Roma fans have additional reason to celebrate. Thanks to five little words from Radja Nainggolan, our beleaguered souls may have finally found a shred of solace. After months of speculation and clandestine meetings between Nainggolan's people and Antonio Conte's people, Radja provided a bit of relief today in an interview with Sky.
Speaking to the cable giant today, Nainggolan commented on the incessant Chelsea rumors, saying simply " Right now I'm concentrated here (Euro 2016), but I am very happy where I am." So everything is hunky dory, right? We're cool, no need to burn our #4 shirts in effigy?
Not so fast, Nainggolan hit us with everyone's favorite bit of ambivalence..."For now my focus is here, then we'll see what happens"
I know Nainggolan is caught in the classic press quagmire--if he's blunt and honest, then he's labeled as insensitive, but if he spews out canned PR responses, his disingenuous or simply boring--but for fuck's sake, must we always be so political in our responses? Can't he find some sort of middle ground, admitting that he's flattered but reaffirming his desire to remain in Rome? If you're happy, just say you're staying, there's no need to keep every door open.
While I'm sure it's quite aggravating to have to deal with the questions all the time, particularly when your country is still alive and well in Euro 2016, these sort of responses only serve to fuel the fire--it's a vicious cycle of circular logic, misinformation and speculation.
While the sale of Miralem Pjanic would seem to have negated the need for a Nainggolan sale, we can't be so certain, not with the mysterious shroud covering Roma's finances. Were they really in FFP trouble? Was it overstated? How much can they spend this summer?
Short of a club announcement, we have no way of knowing and Nainggolan coming out and affirming his affinity for Rome while at the same time hedging his bets only makes this situation more maddening. While Pjanic was a beloved player, Nainggolan's heart, hustle and commitment have endeared him to the fans like few players before him.
Losing Nainggolan will hurt...badly.