Radja Nainggolan explains why he snubbed Cagliari for a return to Belgium with Royal Antwerp. ‘It’s an interesting project.’
The 33-year-old is a free agent after terminating his Inter contract by mutual consent, and that was supposed to be the final step before signing for Cagliari.
However, the offer from the Sardinians was very low and he had concerns about their ambitions, having narrowly avoided relegation last season.
Instead, he flew to Antwerp today, completed a medical and signed the two-year contract for €2m per year, plus a signing-on bonus.
“It feels good to be back,” Nainggolan told Sporza reporters.
“I chose Antwerp because the chairman really wanted me and it’s an interesting project. I’m confident in the project here.”
Antwerp are rivals to his hometown club of Beerschot, so some are not taking the move well back in Belgium.
“This is not something I am doing against the Beerschot fans, it’s a choice for myself. I’ve been away from home for 16 years and now I’m happy to be back in Antwerp.”
Nainggolan moved to Italy for the Piacenza youth academy in 2004, when he was just 16 years old, and never left with experiences also at Cagliari, Roma and Inter.
— sporza (@sporza) August 13, 2021