Radja Nainggolan has revealed that the British weather contributed to him snubbing Chelsea in the past, and he now intends to be at Roma for “years to come”.
The Belgium international has been linked with a move to England on a regular basis in recent years, with Manchester United also reported to be among his many suitors.
No deal has been done, though, despite Chelsea having rekindled their interest on the back of a Premier League title triumph in 2017.
Nainggolan admits that inclement conditions led to him opting to stay put, with there now no chance of him walking away from Roma.
He told reporters at a press conference ahead of a Champions League semi-final clash with Liverpool: "My focus is Roma.
"People seem to have written something about me every day for the past 10 years, but I’m still in here. Let them talk. I have a very good life here. I have everything I need. My family live well here, so everything is on a good level for me.
"Chelsea? Yes, that was something. It wasn't done, but they were interested in me. Last season, when they won the Premier League, it was the beginning of that season. But at the end of the day, the choice wasn't that difficult for me.
"I like English football, I love to watch the English games too, but I’m almost 30 now. Starting over again? It’s difficult even to think about that. And I hate the rain. We were in Liverpool two days and it didn't stop raining. It was cold too. You see the difference to here?"
Nainggolan’s decision to remain in the Italian capital has been vindicated by a run through to the last four of Europe’s premier club competition.
Roma have work to do in order to overturn a 5-2 first-leg deficit and book a final berth, but their all-action midfielder has suggested that he will be sticking around for more continental challenges to come.
“I didn't stay here because I knew we'd get to the Champions League semi-final, but because I feel that winning here would be unforgettable,” added Nainggolan.
“That's the way I am – I always prefer to go for the tougher route. I'll be here for years to come. I don't like the idea of leaving a place where I'm happy – that's just the way I am.”