Roma midfielder Radja Nainggolan insists he had no doubts about remaining with the Italian club despite summer interest from Tuesday night’s Champions League opponents Chelsea.
Nainggolan, who has impressed in three and a half years with the Giallorossi, was linked with a move to Stamford Bridge which never materialised.
Nainggolan said at a press conference prior to Tuesday night’s Champions League Group C clash: ‘Well I made my choice.
Roma midfielder Raja Nainggolan insists he never really considered moving to Chelsea
The combative Belgian insists he made his choice and is happy at the Italian club
‘I never hesitated or thought for a minute (about leaving), so it doesn’t matter if it’s Chelsea or anyone else.
‘It’s always nice to play against a top team, and like all professionals I know how to prepare for them.
‘I’m ready to give my best and hope to play well.’
Roma fought back from 2-0 down two weeks ago to lead 3-2, with two goals from Edin Dzeko and one from Aleksandar Kolarov, only for Chelsea to find an equaliser through Eden Hazard.
Chelsea lead Roma by two points and a win against Nainggolan’s side would see them through
Victory for Chelsea would see them advance to the knockout stages from Group C, but a win for Roma would see them overtake the Blues at the top of the standings.
Chelsea currently lead with seven points to Roma’s five. Atletico Madrid have two points ahead of their clash with Qarabag.
Nainggolan wants Roma to show their ability against Antonio Conte’s visitors.
The 29-year-old added: ‘We know what we are capable of and our worth.
‘We played a great game in London, we could have won it, but we need to be aware of Chelsea too.
‘We will be playing in front of our own fans, a big crowd, and we have everything it takes to win the game.’
Roma have won eight of their last 10 games, including the three Serie A games since the draw at Chelsea 1-0.
Nainggolan will be looking to help his side overtake Chelsea in Group C with a win on Tuesday
Roma host Antonio Conte’s side after battling to a 2-2 draw in the away leg
Nainggolan reckons Roma need to do better if they are to improve upon their Champions League run of two wins in 18 games.
He added: ‘If we win, we take a big step towards qualifying, but we’re studying each game as it comes.
‘If you keep having marginal wins sooner or later you might concede a goal.
‘What is important is that we know what we are working towards. We are doing well defensively, we can still improve going forward but for now we are enjoying the moment and want to keep it going.’
Defender Bruno Peres and forward Patrik Schick are out, while the fitness of forward Gregoire Defrel and defender Kostas Manolas is to be assessed.
Chelsea could have N’Golo Kante available following a hamstring injury and Roma boss Eusebio Di Francesco knows the Frenchman’s possible presence could change the visitors’ approach.
‘He is a very important player for Chelsea,’ Di Francesco said.