Roma midfielder Radja Nainggolan refused to close the door on a future move to the Premier League following his side’s excellent display against Chelsea on Wednesday.
The Italians drew 3-3 in west London to remain just two points adrift of Chelsea in the group, and will hope to overtake them when they face off in Rome in two weeks.
Had Antonio Conte got his wish, Nainggolan – who the coach described as ‘one of the best midfielders in the world’ – might have been playing in blue, though it could still happen in the future.
Speaking to reporters about finally playing at Stamford Bridge, he said: ‘Yeah, good atmosphere.
‘Thank you [to Conte] for the words, but at the end of the day we’re playing against each other and I have to do my job.
‘I think he’s a really good coach because his results over the past few years speak for themselves.
‘But in the end I have to do what I have to do, and that’s playing for Roma and giving the maximum for Roma.
Probed again if he would still like to play in the Premier League one day, he continued: ‘Yeah, it’s a good league.
‘Beautiful stadiums, good atmospheres in the stadiums, but at the moment my head is only there [at Roma].’
Nainggolan had relatively little impact on Wednesday’s match, with former Manchester City duo Edin Dzeko and Aleksandar Kolarov proving to be Chelsea’s chief tormentors during a thrilling match.