€15m summer Tottenham target has reason for departure rectified by call-up

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Radja Nainggolan admitted he could leave Cagliari last month - but the reason for that desire may have been nullified.

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

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

Radja Nainggolan, currently with Cagliari, has been an ever present for the Emilia-Romagna outfit since signing 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 recently that he might have to leave the club - in order to earn a place in the highly competitive Rote Duivel 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.

So he said last month:

“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 … 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.”

But he has now been called up to the squad for the next round of friendlies against Colombia and Japan - with the likes of Thorgan Hazard and Jelle Van Damme missing out.

The 25-year-old is probably not needed anymore at Spurs, after other arrivals made a move into White Hart Lane. Nainggolan is now unlikely to leave Cagliari just yet, with the hope he will make it into the club without having to leave his beloved team.

However, with plenty of talent on the cusp of the first-team, do not rule anything out just yet.

image: © mikehamm

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