Serie A rivals Napoli and Juventus also made strong bids for 25 year old Nainggolan, whilst AC Milan and Inter were also credited with an interest in the Belgian international, as most of the league looked to land him. Milan chief executive Adriano Galliani noted that Nainggolan wouldn't be moving to the San Siro, and would instead be heading to the Italian capital.
"Nainggolan will not be going to Milan,” Galliani told Sky Sport Italia. “I believe the bidding war to be over, anyway. If I had to bet – not that I can, because I’m a club director and we’re not allowed to – but if I had to indicate an option then I’d say he’s going to Roma. As far as I know, that is the situation.”
The news could though serve as a boost to David Moyes and Manchester United. The Red Devils have been interested in Roma's midfield duo Kevin Strootman and Miralem Pjanic of late, and the addition of a league star like Nainggolan could pave the way for one of their midfielders to depart the Stadio Olimpico this month, particularly as the club also have other midfielders like Daniele De Rossi, Michael Bradley and Alessandro Florenzi.
With other positions needed for manager Rudi Garcia, such as left back and centre forward, would the club fork out almost €10m in total for the midfielder unless somebody was leaving? American international Bradley has been tipped to leave the club for some time, but the news of Nainggolan's arrival at Roma will be a welcome boost to Moyes and United.
Pjanic is a creative midfielder who will star for Bosnia at this summer's World Cup, and has been impressive for the Italian side ever since his 2011 move from French club Lyon. At just 23, Pjanic has his best football ahead of him and would be the prefect player to work alongside Michael Carrick and serve as a link man between the midfield and attack.
A £25m fee has been mooted for Pjanic, who has also been a name of interest for Tottenham, whose technical director Franco Baldini worked at Roma with Pjanic. Meanwhile, a move for Dutch international Strootman would seem rather more unlikely, despite a £30m swoop being rumoured last month. The former PSV Eindhoven midfielder's agent Chiel Dekker poured cold water on speculation regarding his client, saying Strootman would be staying with Roma.
"Kevin is very happy in Rome and his intention is to stay here for a long time. They have started a project and a new team and he has adapted well to his new club."
Does Roma's signing of Nainggolan pave the way for a United move? Who would be the better signing - Pjanic or Strootman?
image: © Damien Cansse