1 Apr 2015

'The Ninja' to Anfield? Liverpool pushing to sign 'incredible' €40m box-to-box playmaker

Liverpool continue to be be linked with a summer move for Roma star Radja Nainggolan, and in a boost for the Reds' chances, the Belgian midfielder has confirmed this week that his future at the Serie A club is uncertain.

In February, reports claimed that Anfield scout Barry Hunter had brought €40m-rated Nainggolan 'to the attention' of Brendan Rodgers, and according to The Telegraph today:

"Liverpool are monitoring Radja Nainggolan. Roma and Cagliari both co-own the 26-year-old, and the two clubs must come to an agreement over his ownership".

When asked this week about his future, Nainggolan told reporters:

"Will I stay at Roma? At the moment there’s a 50 per cent chance. I’m not worried as there’s still time. Roma and Cagliari have to find an agreement. I’m 100 per cent focused on Roma"

Some info about Nainggolan nicknamed 'the Ninja' in Italy:

* Box-to-box midfielder who can play as a DM.
* 5 goals/8 assists in 56 apps for Roma.
* Goal/assist every 4.3 games.
* Rarely injured; only one (minor) injury in the last 5 years.
* 8 appearances for the Belgium national team.
* Current contract expires in 2018.

* Models his game on several top-class midfielders. In a recent interview, he explained: "I liked Gattuso's determination; Xavi's technical ability and Vidal's timing in the tackle. My team-mate Keita is spectacular as well"

* Is also a fan of Brazilian legend Ronaldinho: "As a youngster I played as an attacking midfielder and I watched a lot of Ronaldinho, who was a really decisive player back then"

* On his role in the Roma team: "You can't play football without self-confidence. I like my role because it allows me to do everything - defend, create and finish off moves".

Roma boss Rudi Garcia will be loathe to lose Nnaingolan, and in a recent interview, he outlined exactly what the midfielder brings to his team. He told reporters:

"Nainggolan knows how to do everything. He has technique, plays the long ball, can push forward and shoot for goal [and brings] balance to the team. He’s incredible"

With Steven Gerrard leaving, and Lucas/Allen increasingly injury prone, reinforcements are clearly needed in the middle of the field.

Also, unlike some, I don't believe that Emre Can is the answer. So far, he's been distinctly underwhelming in midfield for Liverpool, and as the recent games have proven he rarely effects things in the middle of the field.

Rodgers should convert Can to a full-time central defender, and bring in some more effective central midfielders in the summer.

Is Nainggolan a viable option?



  1. Nevergonnacrackthecode9:04 pm, April 01, 2015

    Watched the BBC interview it is clear the lady got her questions from Sterlings agent.
    Talking about what Carra has said , Gerarrd and Suarez leaving , Rodgers as Logan says talking about it in the press. He has aired all his grievances. I don't balme him the owners are not ambitious enough signing players like Markovic and Lallana instead of Cavani and selling Luis.

    I only hope that team is not Arsenal. They beat us to Sanchez as well.
    By all means sell him to Man city but not Arsenal.
    Rtaher sell to Chelsea then Arsenal , please not Arsenal .

  2. Have to disagree about Can.think he's going to be a big player for us in midfield.havent seen much of nainggolan but he looks decent from what I've seen. Definitely need more options in midfield. Joe Allen is barely a squad player in my opinion. .

  3. Sterling is absolutely ridiculous and claimed that he is not a "Money grabbing teenager" which is a ridiculous claim! I'm sick of his greed and want him to either be happy with what he has or he can leave to a bigger club

  4. Can has looked really good when driving from defence into midfield. Time will tell whether his eventual position will be in defence or midfield but his ability to play competently in a number of positions will prove vital to us in coming seasons

  5. Nevergonnacrackthecode9:14 pm, April 01, 2015

    They are not Lfc fans like us

    Players want to win trophies. Sterling said last yr he would ahve signed at the end of season.
    But liverpools fall has been massive after selling Suarez now Gerarrds also leaving. Liverpool tried to replace Suarez with Balotelli a striker no one wanted. We will not win the league this year and that is what Sterling wants.
    Mnachester City and Arsenal are a lot more ambitious then us and i think him and Coutinho are looking there .

    But dont worry Liverpool will sign Natahn Redmond or Natahn Dyer to replace him maybe even Scott Sinclar

  6. What do the FSG have to do about which players are signed? They write the cheques. That is it. They have absolute no input on which players need to be signed.

  7. Nevergonnacrackthecode9:16 pm, April 01, 2015

    They put a criteria forward.
    That Rodgers has to abide to.

    If Fsg are not careful Rodgers will also leave and join city or Barcelona and we will be doomed

  8. I think the Sterling situation is very worrying.

    I wonder if there is any way back for either side now with him giving an interview as we get to the sharp end of the reason.

    Whether you blame Sterling or not the club has failed to respond to the growing storm and this is bad news all round and very poor management. Is this a consequence of absentee owners with other higher priorities?

  9. Nevergonnacrackthecode9:18 pm, April 01, 2015

    he is making the decisions at Lfc

    why did we not offer Sterling,Henderson,Flanagan,Gerrard contracts last year?

    Now we have all this drama, if you wanna keep a player give it to them when tehy are not hot.

  10. Did coutinho say he's leaving or what?

  11. Now Sterling has a BIG PROBLEM

  12. Ayre is the person who will have to convince FSG to make the money available.

    FSG are not scouts in any shape or form so for them to decide which player will join or not quite honestly is the most far fetched thing I heave ever read.

  13. Nevergonnacrackthecode9:20 pm, April 01, 2015

    just ambition man?

    Rafa Benitez asked Hicks and Gillet we need this player to get top 4 . Hicks and Gillet said we sign this guy we will get top 10.

    FSG are just a better version of hicks and Gillet , always selling the better players.

  14. Sterling is MONEY GRABBING TEENAGER - But too dumb to talk

  15. Nevergonnacrackthecode9:21 pm, April 01, 2015

    Lest see :

    Suarze left
    Gerrard leaving
    Sterling leaving

    Coutinho will ahve enough any interest from city or real Madrid and he is off, jsut put yourself in their shoes sometimes rather then always thinking as the passionate lfc fan

  16. Nevergonnacrackthecode9:22 pm, April 01, 2015

    Come on
    tehy even said in their first interview
    they will sign players that are young with massive resale value

  17. Are you a personal friend of coutinho? Has he told you he wants to leave?

  18. Nevergonnacrackthecode9:25 pm, April 01, 2015

    Maybe Sterling wants to win trophies.
    Maybe challenge for the league.
    Maybe he wants to play with world class players like Sanchez or Augero.
    Maybe he wants to play for an ambitious club like Man city.

    For FSG it is all about top 4 and a profit they are a problem what we needed was Sheik Mansour not John henry

  19. Or maybe that is what happens when you leave young and inexperienced manager to run the show.

    So yes FSG need to be questioned but surely they have spoken to Rodgers about things like this? FSG have been very good to this club. They have 100's of millions of their own money pumped in here so I doubt they sweeping the dirt under the carpet and letting it stay there.

  20. Sorry but bullsh*t

    I am sick of people having delusion that we should be signing the best players in the world.

    Sorry to be the bearer of bad news but compared to the likes of Arsenal, Man Utd, Chelsea and Man City we are simply nowhere near them.

    We can not compete in with regards to wages, income, Champions League appearances in the last 5 years and competitions won.

    What we have to do, what we have always done is to try and find players who are young, hungry, talented with potential and turn them from good players to great players.

    Also the reason that Sanchez chose Arsenal over Liverpool was the fact that his wife wanted to live in London, what do you want FSG to do?

    My god FSG saved our club from bankruptcy, reduced our debt whilst increasing our revenue, are improving Anfield and have backed both Kenny and BR with a massive amount of money.

  21. Nevergonnacrackthecode9:26 pm, April 01, 2015

    Mate Torres left because of Mascherano and Alonso leaving.
    coutinho who has just broken into Brazilian team will question the clubs ambition , any player as talented as him would

  22. Total and utter BS

  23. So you can read his mind then?

  24. E40mn is is too much for a 27 years old with just 10 caps in 6 years for Belgium. I think, if we are to pay that much, we should go for better known options.

    I am tired with the Sterling story - typical English footballer, don't have any idea that there is a better world outside the Isles. If LFC (& BR) has any self respect - they should give him a dead line or cash on him as much as possible (may be at MC, I don't mind Arsenal, but for cash, no Walcot). I think, we 'll not need Sterling's total proceed to bring Depey - much, much ...... much better player.

  25. Nevergonnacrackthecode9:29 pm, April 01, 2015

    Rodgers is a FSG yes man.
    Any manager they get will also be a yes man.

    Why do you think the first two managers they looked at was Martinez and then Rodgers. Rodgers has been very good though and will leave soon if the asset stripping continues

    Rafa Benitez would challenge them so he does not even get an interview.

  26. Can not some people are having a go at FSG after what they have done are are doing,

    Time to come back to the real world and accept that for time being we can not compete against the big 4 for players.

    We have won nothing for any note for years and have not had a sustained run in the CL for years.

    I not surprises to see the usual people here complaining yet again

    How quickly some people forget how bad things were only a few short years ago

  27. Nevergonnacrackthecode9:30 pm, April 01, 2015

    The only problem is if Sterling becomes new Rooney at Arsenal

    It must hurt everton fans seeing one of their players domiante league for so long at another team.

  28. FSG are not interested in petty boardroom battles which is exactly what Rafa will bring with him.

    Rodgers is far from a yes man. Do you even understand the term?

  29. Nevergonnacrackthecode9:32 pm, April 01, 2015

    Well i knew torres would leave in 09-10,Suarez would leave 12-13 or 13-14
    and Sterling i thought season after next but looks liek its come early

    but all in all i got a good track record

  30. Nevergonnacrackthecode9:33 pm, April 01, 2015

    Watch it.
    His interview with Claire Rouke.
    the first one.
    Youtube it it is not hard

  31. Nevergonnacrackthecode9:35 pm, April 01, 2015

    Helicopter for Sanchez like Owen did .
    He does not even have a wife he had a girl friend but he broke up with her afetr he cheated on her , so i doubt she was that important in desicon making process

  32. Can you tell me the next euro millions numbers the if you wouldn't mind?

  33. Nevergonnacrackthecode9:36 pm, April 01, 2015

    Yes he does whatever FSG tell him to.
    he has no opinion he just speaks whatever FSG tell him to,

  34. So is that why he turned down the LFC job the first time round?

  35. Nevergonnacrackthecode9:36 pm, April 01, 2015

    Well if they cant compete

    sell lfc to a person who can make us compete

  36. Nevergonnacrackthecode9:37 pm, April 01, 2015

    Watch when he leaves you will regret it.

    I can already see , Sean Dyche getting the job.

  37. Now you change the subject? Why do you even bother replying when I have just proven that Rodgers is not a yes man?

  38. Nevergonnacrackthecode9:39 pm, April 01, 2015

    That snot my topic.
    I predict what footballers will do.

    i predicted Mkhitaryan would reject us and Sanchez

  39. Nevergonnacrackthecode9:41 pm, April 01, 2015

    i was just saying eh is a talented yes man
    iamgine if Martinez got the job instead.

    just saying even if you despise Rodgers , the next man would only be a poor mans Rodgers

    like a Sean Dyche. Steve Keane etc

  40. That's right, avoid the subject.

    Are you a teenager?

  41. Is that your full time job? Will balotelli score against arsenal? I want to throw a few quid on..

  42. Nevergonnacrackthecode9:45 pm, April 01, 2015

    since he got the job, he has done everything FSG told him

    1) Cut the wage bill
    2) Invest in English players
    3) Use a transfer committee
    4) Use the press to push motives

  43. Yes but he's wise beyond his years:)

  44. Were you there when they told him this or did Rodgers tell you what was said in the meeting?

  45. What can we do, if he keeps blackmailing? Players like Barnes, Rush, SG or Giggs could have got much better deals had they decided to move, but those players kept playing for the club that has gave them so much. I am sure they were well paid, so would be Sterling, but he 'll always find a club willing to give him 10-15% pay raise.

    If a players leaves for ambition, it hurts, but I don't mind (that Suarez left), but what Sterling is doing at 19 isn't acceptable.

  46. What do you do when your boss tells you to do something?

    Can he sleep with your girlfriend though? If you allow him then you are a yes man.

    If you tell your boss that you will not follow his rules while in working hours the he will tell you to f off.

  47. Nevergonnacrackthecode9:52 pm, April 01, 2015

    Why ?
    A football career can be short
    if can win the league next year with City and compete for the champions league then why would you reject that to fight for 5th with us and Europa league footy

    he only came to Liverpool to win stuff, that is why he came here rather then QPR
    he is not Gerrard , he is not a Jay Spearing who loves the club he owes liverpool nothing really .

  48. Our own footballing Nostradamus.

  49. Nevergonnacrackthecode9:57 pm, April 01, 2015

    Whether he is a yes man or not

    he will eventually get fed up with FSG selling his best players. FSG have to keep Rodgers happy as well.

    Imagine if he joins City with Sterling. he is their second choice after Guardiola.
    Augero,Sterling,Silva,Yaya and maybe a Lacazette?

    he will play some devastating football and walk the league

    102 goals last season he would score 130 would that line up

  50. City will not be making Rodgers their manager, especially when their owners want trophies which Rodgers has failed to produce in three seasons so far after spending a f*** load of money.

  51. Nevergonnacrackthecode10:04 pm, April 01, 2015

    Txiti Bergestain wants a manger who can deliver devastating footy and Rodgers is up there with Guardiola and Simeone in their choices/

    He has spent a lot , but at City he can just buy the hottest property available.

    How many times has Rodgers had to settle for his second or third choice.
    If Rodgers had his way this would be our line up:


    he no longer has to worry about not signing awesome players like Mkhitaryan and Sanchez
    and he can also keep Augero (citys version of suarez)

  52. Don't entirely agree re how far away we are from the other top teams but for sure we can't quite compete with all of them on all fronts and definitely not in the oil money department.
    I do though completely support your last paragraph and it's a view that's been mentioned a bit on here recently. I'd definitely be interested in the results of a poll on the subject - 'Our current owners and manager, good bad or indifferent?'
    Would be interesting to see where opinion really lies at this stage of the season.

  53. Nevergonnacrackthecode10:34 pm, April 01, 2015

    We cannot keep making that excuse.
    They "saved us" no they never there was two offers(i think current valencia owners) and Broughton choose FSG.
    Plus they only bought us to make money , "saved" amkes it seem as if they are heroes.

    They backed Kenny bey selling Fernando to fund the budget
    they backed Rodgers by selling suarez to amke the budget .

    I honestly think teghy would be good owners however if tehy employed Rafa let him sign who he wants and run finance and contracts.
    I like Rodgesr but i think he needs to join City he cant progress as a manager if he keeps revuilding year in year out

  54. It has nothing to do with finances, and everything to do with our status in the footballing world. And the only way to up our status is to start winning games with the quality players we currently have. This would be made easier if we can put in more effort to find some hidden gems, instead of crying over passed opportunities.

  55. It's been a somewhat frustrating season after the high hopes generated from the one before but really you should keep the belief that our ambition is well truly there in abundance.
    Pretty sure even a lot of Arsenals own fans wouldn't say they were more ambitious than us.

  56. He does make a good point though. I'm not saying he's in the right to keep upping the demands, but it's very well possible he's just said "I'm not negotiating any deal regardless of the offer until the end of the season."

  57. Nevergonnacrackthecode10:37 pm, April 01, 2015

    However signed Markovic needs to be fired immediately.
    This is what worries me lf we sell sterling and then buy another Markovic or even worse a Lallana

  58. Nevergonnacrackthecode10:37 pm, April 01, 2015


  59. My memory's pretty ropey but I'm sure I remember him being right about the world ending in 2012.

  60. Nevergonnacrackthecode10:39 pm, April 01, 2015

    No i was not a frequent com mentor then and i do not believe in Science i think it is all a lie
    so you're mistaken

  61. Up until now I was pretty much ignoring the whole saga but this latest development is indeed a worry and could well see sterling's position become untenable.
    I read that the interview wasn't sanctioned by the club and if that's the case then something could really be about to hit the fan, and I don't mean Cantona.

  62. FSG provide the money, not the scouting notes...

    I can see why we signed Markovic. He clearly has potential, and was playing well at his previous club. I simply think it was down to the wrong move at the wrong time. He lost all confidence, and is afraid to do anything besides sprint a little and pass off to someone.

    Lallana on the other hand I think is a case of compromising everything. He's pretty fast, kinda has good feet, above average passing, etc. They took the "all-around" route, rather than getting someone who actually excels in a given role.

  63. I wasn't having a dig at you there Never, more at Nostradamus and the fact he was dealt a huge pile of fail in 2012.
    If you replaced science with religion in your reply then I agree with you.

  64. All over for him now I reckon, especially if this interview was not sanctioned, Basically a come and get me plea to other clubs. He's gone in summer to the highest bidder....hopefully we get a good fee and then we can move on.

    Think most fans think if he decides to stay and knuckles down all good, if not we can buy a more experienced replacement with the fee.

  65. Actually I take some of that back, I've just read he was actually going for 2022 or 2023ish.

  66. Nevergonnacrackthecode10:53 pm, April 01, 2015

    I thought Nostrdadmous is that guy from Harry potter that looks like Shelvy

  67. I don't believe in Harry potter. ;-)

  68. So somewhere between 8 and 9 clock

  69. Yes so we should lobby the FA for an early kick off.

  70. Was he the one from the little Spanish village in France?

  71. Was it not the Mayan calendar that predicted 2012?

  72. I don't rate Lazar Markovic highly.He fades out of matches far too easily.I have looked for positive signs of potential improvement but i think we could be waiting forever.I doubt he'll have a long term Liverpool future.I said it at the time of purchase and nothing's changed.
    You're not the only supporter who fears a substandard replacement for the seemingly soon to be departed Sterling.All we can do is hope for the best.Adam Lallana should be better next season.

  73. Barnes, Rush and Giggs were all in the dominant team of their respective era's and I'm sure were amongst the league's highest paid players at the time. Gerrard definitely could have made more elsewhere and if he hadn't been a local boy and a die-hard fan, he undoubtedly would've left. Sterling's situation is different to all these players

  74. You never fail to amuse me...You clearly have no idea what ambition is... You don't spend the best part of 3/4 billion on club and transfers since arriving and decide to spend another £150, on a stadium refurb if you don't have vision and ambition... It's crazy to call Markovic and Lallana examples of such... Your delusional if you believe FSG/LFC had any choice in Suarez's departure.. and Cavani isn't all that... Fancy foreign name and ludicrous price tag doesn't make him the dogs bollox.... It's time you did some reading and watching, form an opinion based on reality, and don't just repeat the tripe that other poorly informed muppets spout as fact... Do that, and people will probably take you seriously..

  75. He probably wants FSG to move the club to London now.. careful what you tell him....

  76. Nah, it was me. And I was right. Add a bunch of random numbers to 2012 and you get the year the sun will implode like a GK.

  77. How much money do you make when a club is trying to recover from £300m of debt, while spending 100's of millions trying to rebuild the stadium and team.... really..

  78. Put your fingers in your ears mate... and close yout eyes...it's the only way to maintain your sanity....

  79. You keep talking of ambition, what the hell are you smoking over there....?

  80. Wow! you don't believe in science... that tells me everything... how do you think your computer was invented, and the internet, or your home, or the food you eat, or the soap you use to wash that face of yours..... and by the way, the earth is round... I know, crazy..

  81. It was the Mayans that predicted the end of the world in 2012... or atleast, thats as far as they had got with their calander... we assumed the rest....

  82. The Ginger Mourinho...

  83. It is true it was meant to be mainly targeting players 23 and under with large resale value.

  84. true story mate. article talking about Can is pointless, he is such an exciting talent

  85. Not a pacey guy but very solid in tackle, assist,defence and has an eye for a decisive passing. should get him if BR is a top manager.

  86. Agree with that Paul, I'm hoping as you say along with most fans for the latter but feel it will likely be the former.
    I re-watched the interview and noticed that like a blooming politician he never actually answered the main question, why have you not just accepted and signed the 100k offer? What followed was just a whole lot of flannel in my opinion and as Jamie noted, a blatant PR exercise.

  87. Yes I think yourself, Stan and Not You are correct. I had a feeling I might have been about to get that all horribly wrong when I started typing the year 2000. Thought I'd dodged a bullet in remembering that was the year all the computers were going to spontaneously combust but still got it all arse about tit.
    I'll be expecting my own shipment of fail to arrive shortly.

  88. Yep I fell right into the problem with assumptions myself there.
    In my defence though and I believe there is a precedent for this, 9 out of 10 other people who only completed half a Google search agreed with me.

  89. Now I know how Galileo felt...

  90. I was hoping Crack's answer would be "yes man".

  91. Well, "not sanctioned' doesn't necessarily mean it was against club policy. It just means it wasn't facilitated by the club in a press conference or post-match or whatever. These things are allowed, as far as I know.

    What I got from that interview was Sterling implying that he's considering whether he's too good for Liverpool. In which case, good luck to him. Sad to think about a(nother) good young player leaving but the club must be thinking about replacements now.

  92. I wouldn't mind if we spent most of our and Arsenal's transfer budget on three really, really good midfielders next summer, two of which could be Nainggolan and Pjanic and the third being a defensive midfielder to compete with Lucas.

  93. Sorry did you say you don't believe in science? As in don't believe in it....like people don't believe in ghosts/aliens/gods etc.
    You don't believe in factual defined proof of specific detail that has been proven?
    I always took what you said with a large large large pinch of salt, now I may need a giant bucket of salt!
    'I do not believe in science'!!! Unbelievable.

  94. Torres and Suarez WANTED to leave. FSG didnt offer them to clubs until they had both practically put in transfer requests. You cant re write history to suit your argument and think that no one will notice.

  95. Don't worry mate! I'm a freak and like this sort of stuff....If you want a laugh, you should watch ancient aliens on the history channel, it'll have you in stitches.