Luciano Spalletti Drops Hint on Inter’s Radja Nainggolan Interest Ahead of Expected Bid

Luciano Spalletti has increased speculation that ​Inter are keen on signing Radja Nainggolan from AS Roma this summer after hailing the 30-year-old in a post-season press conference. 

The midfielder’s agent Alessandro Beltrami met with I Nerazzurri’s director of football Piero Ausilio on Thursday afternoon in what was believed to be a meeting regarding the Belgian and fellow client Nicolo Barella of Cagliari. 

After securing Champions League football for next season in dramatic fashion with a ​3-2 win over Lazio on the final day of the season, it is thought the ​Serie A giants will recruit heavily this summer in an attempt to improve their squad, despite their impending Financial Fair Play talks with Uefa. 

And during a press conference on Thursday evening, as quoted by Italian news outlet ​Gianluca Di MarzioSpalletti hinted that Inter’s reported interest could have been founded after admitting his admiration for both Nainggolan and Barella. 

“They are two good players,” the 59-year-old responded when probed about the speculation. 

It is thought that both are being lined up in replacement for on-loan ​Barcelona man Rafinha, who joined Nerazzurri in January of this year. 

Although the Italian side are keen on retaining the Brazilian’s services on a permanent basis, Spalletti has admitted himself there may not be the funds available to suffice the 25-year-old’s demands. 

However, Nainggolan will almost certainly also carry a hefty price tag and pay packet, with Roma reportedly waiting out for around €40m (£35m) and the former Belgium international – who announced his retirement from representing his country after being overlooked by Roberto Martinez for this summer’s World Cup – earning around €5m a year (£4.6m).