Brendan Rodgers readying Radja Nainggolan raid on Roma?
Liverpool, 5/1 with Coral for a top four finish this term, are chasing the signature of Belgium and Roma midfielder Radja Nainggolan, according to reports in Italy.
The 26-year-old, who was overlooked by national coach Marc Wilmots for the final World Cup squad selection, has since established himself for both club and country. Nainggolan is still co-owned by former club Cagliari, now coached by Sardinia native and Chelsea playing legend Gianfranco Zola, but he has built on his displays there since switching to the Eternal City.
Reds boss Brendan Rodgers is looking to continue a midfield makeover, which could see Brazilian anchorman Lucas Leiva axed from Anfield with Napoli and former boss Rafa Benitez interested.
Nainggolan is adept in the holding and box-to-box roles, with his qualities in the latter berth evidenced when assisting Francesco Totti’s goal at the Etihad against Manchester City in the Champions League group stage this autumn.
Both Liverpool and Roma ultimately fell short in Europe’s elite club competition, however, and have dropped into the Europa League after finishing third in their respective groups.
This means Nainggolan is not cup-tied for that in the New Year, and would thus be available to both his suitors and current club if a winter window move materalises.
Kop regulars will want Rodgers to address the issues at either end of the pitch as a priority, with the Reds struggling in attack and goalkeeper Simon Mignolet’s recent ‘indefinite’ dropping, which proved short-lived when Brad Jones sustained an injury on Boxing Day.
Adding nifty Nainngolan to Anfield ranks will help to keep Liverpool competitive in midfield, however, and the Merseyside outfit, like Roma, face a tasty Europa League last 32 tie when continental club competitions resume in February.
The Reds, who are 12/1 chances to lift that trophy, battle Turkish top-flight team Besiktas, while Nainngolan’s current club (Roma are 10/1 favourites) face Feyenoord.