Perhaps it’s because Italy isn’t involved, or perhaps it’s because things are looking up for Roma, but the World Cup just isn’t doing it for me this time around—give me a Roma transfer rumor, no matter how spurious, any day of the week and I’ll lap it up. Earlier today we talked a bit about Javier Pastore’s impending arrival in Roma, but El Flaco’s return to Italy is only one link in the chain.
While they may not be pressed financially to sell Radja Nainggolan, with Bryan Cristante, Ante Coric and now (hopefully) Javier Pastore, Roma’s midfield is becoming quite crowded. And while Radja can out muscle and out hustle any of those names listed above, he can’t touch Pastore when it comes to grace, ingenuity and creativity; he is increasingly a man without a country, leading to today’s strange series of events.
In a story reminiscent of a high school cafeteria, someone supposedly ran into Nainggolan while he was having lunch in the city, whereupon he supposedly told them “see you in Milan”, presumably hinting at his alleged and/or impending reunion with Luciano Spalletti at Inter Milan. Nainggolan took to Instagram to dismiss this story as “nonsense”, providing immediate solace to those of us who are loathe to see him leave.
But this just happened...
That Tweet from Gianluca Di Marzio mirrors what he reported on Sky little more than an hour ago, that Nainggolan has a deal in place with Inter. According to Di Marzio, Nainggolan has a three-year deal in place, one that will pay him €5 million per season through 2021. For their part of the deal, Roma will receive €20 to €22 million in cash plus Inter youth players Nicolo Zaniolo and possibly Andrea Pinamonti, both of whom were born in 1999...which, ugh, fuck my life.
Whatever may occur, this is sure to be a controversial move among the Roma faithful. On the one hand, Nainggolan is 30-years-old, isn’t ideally suited to EDF’s tactics and has, shall we say, a laissez faire attitude towards training, so Roma might be cashing out at the right time, AND they’d be getting two legit prospects to boot. While on the other hand, Nainggolan, despite the less than ideal tactical fit, is still one of the best midfielders in the league, he bleeds for the crest and rarely, if ever, misses a match, and as Alisson himself decried last week, if Roma are serious, he’s precisely the type of player you hang onto (I’m paraphrasing).
I’m just so torn on the prospect of this move—don’t forget, I hate Inter more than any other team in the league, too—but offsetting and even upgrading his attacking contributions with Pastore takes some of the sting out.
But...argh...Nainggolan has meant so much to this club over the past few years, and he’s still so, so good, I can’t bare the thought.
Just do it Monchi, and make it quick. I can’t handle this.