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Chelsea move was never an option, says Radja Nainggolan

Roma's Belgian midfielder Radja Nainggolan during Champions League Group C match between AS Roma and Atletico Madrid on September 12, 2017
Image: Radja Nainggolan never thought about leaving Roma in the summer

Radja Nainggolan insists he had no doubts about remaining at Roma amid summer interest from Tuesday night's Champions League opponents Chelsea.

The midfielder, who has impressed in his three and a half years with the Giallorossi, was linked with a move to Stamford Bridge which never materialised.

"Well I made my choice," the 29-year-old Belgian said. "I never hesitated or thought for a minute [about leaving], so it doesn't matter if it's Chelsea or anyone else.

"It's always nice to play against a top team, and like all professionals I know how to prepare for them.

"I'm ready to give my best and hope to play well."

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Roma fought back from 2-0 down two weeks ago to lead 3-2, with two goals from Edin Dzeko and one from Aleksandar Kolarov, only for Chelsea to find an equaliser through Eden Hazard.

Victory for Chelsea would see them advance to the knockout stages from Group C, but a win for Roma would see them overtake the Blues at the top of the standings.

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Chelsea currently lead with seven points to Roma's five. Atletico Madrid have two points ahead of their clash with Qarabag.

Nainggolan wants his side to show their best ability against Antonio Conte's visitors at Stadio Olimpico.

"We know what we are capable of and our worth," he added. "We played a great game in London, we could have won it, but we need to be aware of Chelsea too.

"We will be playing in front of our own fans, a big crowd, and we have everything it takes to win the game."

Roma's Bosnian striker Edin Dzeko celebrates after scoring his second goal during a UEFA Champions league group stage football match between Chelsea and Ro
Image: Edin Dzeko scored twice as Roma played out an entertaining 3-3 draw at Stamford Bridge

Roma need to do better if they are to improve upon their Champions League run of two wins in 18 games.

Nainggolan admitted: "If we win, we take a big step towards qualifying, but we're studying each game as it comes.

"If you keep having marginal wins, sooner or later you might concede a goal.

"What is important is that we know what we are working towards. We are doing well defensively, we can still improve going forward but for now we are enjoying the moment and want to keep it going."

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