€15m summer Tottenham target hints at January exit to enhance World Cup dream

Belgium National Football Team

Belgian international Radja Nainggolan was linked with Tottenham Hotspur this summer, and he has now suggested he wants a move away from Cagliari.

Tottenham already have a small collection of talented Belgians in their midst with Jan Vertonghen and Moussa Dembele vital cogs in the Andre Villas-Boas machine.

But they were also linked with another Belgian talent this summer.

Radja Nainggolan may not sound particularly Belgian but the combative midfielder of Indonesian heritage has featured in four games for the Red Devils and at 25-years-old was said to be looking for a new challenge.

LIVE Premier League match alerts to your phone - goals, red cards, half and full time scores

Currently with Cagliari he has been an ever present for the Emilia-Romagna outfit since singing a permanent deal with the club in 2010 - and his performances in Serie A caught the eye of AVB and co last season.

Valued at around €15 million a deal never came off. Nainggolan stayed with Cagliari, despite interest also being present from the likes of Inter Milan.

However, he dropped a hint on Thursday that come January, he could actually finalise a move away from the club.

Belgium have qualified for the World Cup in Brazil next summer - but despite the excellent performances of Nainggolan in recent months, he has struggled to get into a competitive Belgium side.

With the likes of Mousa Dembele, Maraoune Fellaini, Steven Defour and Axel Witsel for competition - it is obviously going to be a tough mission getting on to Marc Wilmots’ radar.

He has not been in a Belgium squad since the February fixture against Slovakia, and he has not played two games for his country in the same season.

Hernanes to stay at Lazio - Tottenham and Arsenal didn't need him anyway

But he wants to go to Brazil next year, and citing the example of a Chelsea midfielder he believes a move to a bigger club might be necessary: 

“I am a little disappointed. I hope the Coach will follow my performances and perhaps give me a chance in the next friendlies… the national team is full of champions, but I think I deserve my place. Look at Kevin De Bruyne, he is sitting in the stands at Chelsea but is part of the national team. I have nothing against Kevin – that is just an example. Kevin is a winner and has done a great job. But it seems silly to me that you should be called up just because you play for a big club. If I’d have signed for Inter, people would have started talking about me for Belgium – but I’m exactly that same player at Cagliari.”

Tottenham are however now strong in midfield and perhaps the time for a move to White Hart Lane have passed - however other Premier League clubs should surely take notice of his apparent availability.

image: © Erik Daniel Drost

Register for TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch