Over the past 12 months, Radja Nainggolan was almost certainly one of the players linked to Juventus who actually didn't sign with Juventus. If not one of the most-talked about potential transfer targets, certainly one of them. It seemed like there wasn't a week that went by when Nainggolan's name wasn't associated with Juve in some form or another.
This just in: It's time to put those rumors to bed. Why? Here's a picture.
WELCOME TO ROMA, RADJA! #Nainggolan pic.twitter.com/wk0yFFe1hA— A.S. Roma (@OfficialASRoma) January 7, 2014
The details of the deal, courtesy of Gianluca Di Marzio:
He signed a 4 year deal with annual salary of 1.4 million euro net. Cagliari will receive 3 million for the loan for rest of season, and Roma has an option to buy half of Nainggolan's right in summer for 6.5 million. The soap opera is over, Nainggolan has joined Roma.
So that's that. No more days of Nainggolan being linked to Juventus. Oh how I will miss those days. Will he sign or won't he? Will Juve pay up to Cellino's demands? On and on and on. I'd sure like to see the number of times Nainggolan dominated Tuttosport's front page in one form or another. At least they got some cool designs out of it.
There's also this: I think Roma just got better. I don't know by how much, but they added something positive to an already good squad. I think we can agree that Nainggolan is a quality player that deserved a chance to move up the chain when it comes to playing on a quality team in Italy. But that's a good chunk of change to pay for somebody who might start some of the time. There's no way he's getting a spot ahead of Miralem Pjanic, Kevin Strootman or Daniele De Rossi post-suspension. They're pretty undroppable as undroppable gets right now.
And to think if Juve paid the kind of money Roma are likely sending to Cagliari over the next year or two for a player who would have fourth or fifth choice in Antonio Conte's loaded center midfield. He's a pretty good player, sure, but in Juve's squad, he was far from a guy who was needed. Simple supply and demand, I guess.