Chelsea suffer transfer setback as £23m bid for Antonio Conte target rejected

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Roma have reportedly turned down a £23m bid from Chelsea for star midfielder Radja Nainggolan as the Premier League outfit ramp up their pursuit.

The 28-year-old has emerged as a top target for Antonio Conte ahead of his arrival at Stamford Bridge, but it appears as though the two clubs are far apart in their respective valuations of the player.

According to The Guardian, Roma President James Pallotta wants at least £32m for the Belgian international, so in turn Chelsea’s offer of £23m plus bonuses falls way short.

Nevertheless, it comes just days after Pallotta told the Italian media that neither Nainggolan nor Miralem Pjanic would be leaving the club, as noted by The Guardian, and so their reported rejection of the first offer from Chelsea would make sense.

The Giallorossi are seemingly in a position where they don’t have to sell, and with neither player revealing a desire to leave, it puts Chelsea in a weak bargaining position with Conte likely to be left disappointed.

Should the Premier League giants increase their offer and get closer to the expected fee, then perhaps it could open the door for negotiations and a move materialising for Nainggolan.

That being said, the former Cagliari man has been an important part of the club’s success in the last two years, and it comes as no surprise that the Roma hierarchy have no intentions of letting him leave.

In turn, Conte may be forced to consider other options ahead of his first season in charge, as the Italian tactician can ill-afford to waste time on transfer sagas when he has just a few months to prepare his squad for the new campaign.

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