Inter have made official contact with Roma for the first time in their pursuit of midfielder Radja Nainggolan, according to Gazzetta dello Sport.
Nainggolan scored six goals and made 11 assists for the Giallorossi during the 2017-18 season and has emerged as head coach Luciano Spalletti’s primary target in midfield this summer, as the Nerazzurri look to reinforce their attacking options ahead of participation in next year’s UEFA Champions League.
Following an informal meeting between sporting director Piero Ausilio and the player’s agent Alessandro Beltrami at the end of May, the Milanese publication report that Inter have now made direct contact with Roma as they look to secure a deal for the 30 year-old.
Talks between the two clubs have not started properly yet but they are likely to do so soon, although Roma would prefer to sell Nainggolan abroad than to a direct rival in Serie A.
Chinese Super League side Guangzhou Evergrande, who are now coached by former Inter player Fabio Cannavaro, are reported to have offered the Giallorossi €30 million whilst tempting the player with a mouth-watering proposal of €12 million per year in wages, which would see Nainggolan almost triple his current salary of €4.5 million.
However should Roma lower their asking price of €40 million a little then Inter will begin an offensive of their own, perhaps offering €20-25 million in cash along with a youngster from their Primavera squad.
Barcelona midfielder Rafinha remains the Nerazzurri’s Plan B for the moment, although both parties would like to continue together after the player impressed while on loan from Barcelona last season.