Cagliari star Nainggolan: Southampton my last choice despite big offer

The 25-year-old midfielder is reportedly being chased by a number of Serie A sides but admits that he remains open to a switch to the Premier League this summer
By Nina Rialita

Cagliari midfielder Radja Nainggolan has revealed that Southampton have offered him a deal to move to the Premier League but admits that a switch to St Mary's Stadium is his "last choice".

EXCLUSIVE: The Celtic midfielder tells Goal that talk of a switch to Southampton has taken him by surprise while on holiday
The versatile 25-year-old is reportedly being chased by a number of Italian sides - including Inter and Napoli - after an impressive season in Serie A.

The Belgium international concedes that he is reluctant to move to Mauricio Pochettino's side this summer but has not completely ruled out joining a Premier League club.

"I still remain focused for training, because we haven't entered the transfer window yet, so I cannot talk much about it," Nainggolan told Goal. "I'm still a Cagliari player, whether I will stay or not depends on the club's vision for the future. If Cagliari have a good plan for my career, of course I will stay.

"The situation is uncertain and everything can happen but I have to consider my future career as well.

"Honestly, Southampton gave me the biggest offer at the moment among the other clubs but I don't play football for money. My priority is looking for a brighter future for my career and Southampton is my last choice.

"We will see later, it's no problem for me to move to England for the sake of my career."

14/1 Southampton are 14/1 with Bet365 to finish in the Premier League top six
Nainggolan also disclosed that he was close to joining Juventus last term and underlined his aim to join a top European club in the future.

"It's hard to mention a specific team, because the atmosphere is not much different in England, Italy or Spain," he continued.

"Actually, I could have played for Juventus last year. However, I got many offers so it was quite hard for me to decide. In Spain, I like Barcelona, they play beautiful football.

"It's hard for me to name a favourite team. In Italy, Juventus are the best team, they are in a different class now. Serie A is not good as three years ago, several teams are suffering financial problems, such as AC Milan, they built the team from zero, decided to change their policy and use youth players.

"[Lionel] Messi is my favourite player, although we play in a different position. I think all of the players in the world would be happy if they can play in a same team with him."