Nainggolan: I'd have to start from scratch in the Premier League

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Although the midfielder refused to rule out a move away from Italy in the future, he maintains he is happy at Roma and has no plans to leave

Radja Nainggolan is reluctant to move to the Premier League because he believes he would have to rebuild the reputation he has built up in Italy.

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The Roma midfielder was heavily courted by Chelsea ahead of the current season as new coach Antonio Conte is a big fan.

Rumours over a move have not died down completely as Nainggolan is once again being talked about as a target for the Stamford Bridge side among others.

The Belgium international, 28, has been in Italy since he joined Piacenza's youth academy in 2005. After four years at Cagliari, he is in his fourth season as a first-team regular at Roma, and is not ready to bring an end to his time in Italy and follow the money to England or China.

“I’m happy in Rome, the weather is usually good and my family are fine here,” he told reporters.

"Sometimes you make choices for money, other times it’s for quality of life, which is important for me. Also if I went to England I’d have to start from scratch and I’m very happy at Roma.

“China? Not now, but you can never rule anything out. I’d have to see at the time.”

Nainggolan has been criticised before for being a known cigarette smoker, but he has no plans to stop yet, insisting he should be judged on his performances.

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"I've never hidden before," he added. "I know, I myself have children and I have to set an example, but it has always been important to me that people give their opinions about what someone is doing on the field, his job. I am footballer, that's what I need to do and that's what I love.

"I'm not hiding it. It is true, I cannot continue to ignore it. I am not ashamed of it."

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