Nainggolan still on Evergrande's radar

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Radja Nainggolan is reportedly being chased by Guangzhou Evergrande.

Guangzhou Evergrande has reportedly offered Roma star Radja Nainggolan annual wages of 14 million euro ($12 million) in a bid to lure the Belgian to Guangdong province.

The reigning Chinese Super League champion failed with a previous 10-million-euro offer for the combative box-to-box midfielder in the winter transfer window.

Guangzhou is keen to add reinforcements after a poor start to the season that has seen it knocked out of the AFC Champions League and Chinese FA Cup and struggling in the league, five points back of leader Shanghai SIPG.

As a result, Evergrande owner Xu Jiayin has vowed to axe the team's under-performing Brazilian players - Ricardo Goulart and Alan - and ordered management to impose a closed-door regime at the club.

Nainggolan, who controversially failed to make Belgium's World Cup squad, is seen as a direct successor to Brazilian Paulinho, without whom Evergande has struggled since his departure for Barcelona last summer.

And Nainggolan's arrival would undoubtedly be welcomed by Evergrande's underpressure coach Fabio Cannavaro.

"We need to not only adjust the squad during the mid-season period, but improve players' sense of hunger of winning games," the 44-year-old Italian said recently.

For Nainggolan, China would represent a fresh start following the disappointment of missing out on a trip to the World Cup finals with his native country.

The heavily tattooed 30-year-old, known for his love of the good life and partying in Rome, announced his international retirement after the snub.

Capped 30 times by his country, Nainggolan is a fan favorite but his relationship with coach Roberto Martinez has often been strained.

Martinez claimed the decision not to put him on Belgium's roster was tactical, but last week Nainggolan told Belgian TV channel Vier: "I've played 300 matches in Serie A - the most tactical competition in the world.

"After the training game against Spain, I was suddenly left out. Was it because I arrived late? I don't want to mention any names, but that's happened with other players and they're still there.

"That some people criticize me for smoking I can understand. They feel that I should be a role model for youngsters. But if that's what I wanted to be, I would have become a primary school teacher or an educator. But I'm a footballer and I want to be judged based on my performances on the pitch."

Nainggolan, who scored twice in the second leg of the Champions League semifinal against Liverpool last month, moved to Roma from Cagliari in 2014.

Aside from Guangzhou, Inter Milan, owned by Chinese tycoon Zhang Jindong, is also thought to be courting Nainggolan as it looks to bolster its squad after qualifying for next season's Champions League.

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