Nainggolan in World Cup contention

Belgium boss Roberto Martinez has confirmed that Roma midfielder Radja Nainggolan will be considered for the World Cup.

Martinez has seldom used Nainggolan since becoming Belgium’s Coach in the summer of 2016, amidst speculation that he did not approve of the 29-year-old’s smoking habits.

However, he was called up for the Red Devils’ friendlies in November and, according to the former Everton manager, has a chance of representing his country in Russia.

“We have until May to analyse and make judgments on each player who helped us qualify, plus those who can help us in Russia,” he told Het Laatste.

“Nainggolan belongs to that [second] group of players. We’ll select 23 players in May, and this will be based on the needs of the team.”

Nainggolan has scored twice and made six assists in 29 appearances for Roma this season.

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Chelsea look at Romagnoli again?

Chelsea have reportedly revived their interest in Milan defender Alessio Romagnoli.

According to Leggo, Milan could see Romagnoli if they fail to qualify for the Champions League this season.

The newspaper explains “several clubs are following the defender”, among them Chelsea, who have sent scouts to watch him in recent weeks.

Antonio Conte currently has David Luiz, Gary Cahill, Andreas Christensen and Antonio Rudiger to choose from in central defence.

However, the Blues have lost four of their last five games in the Premier League, leaving them five points behind the Champions League places.

Romagnoli, who turned 23 in January, has made 32 appearances for the Rossoneri this season.

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Roma & Juve given one-match bans

Roma’s Edin Dzeko and Juventus’ Alex Sandro have been given one-match bans for yellow-card accumulations.

Lega Serie A confirmed the suspensions on Monday, with both players penalised for their bookings against Napoli and Lazio respectively.

They are joined by teammates Edin Dzeko and Stephan Lichtsteiner, the quartet set to miss the next round of fixtures, when the Giallorossi host Torino and Juve take on Udinese.

Bologna defender Giancarlo Gonzalez and SPAL full-back Federico Mattiello will also sit out their team’s next games.

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UEFA to remember Astori

All clubs playing in the Champions League and Europa League this week will observe a minute’s silence in their matches for Davide Astori.

Astori tragically died in his sleep hours before Fiorentina’s match against Udinese on Saturday, and UEFA announced the respectful gesture in all of its competitions.

Juventus, Roma, Milan and Lazio are the four clubs still representing Italy in the Champions League and Europa League.

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Roma suffer De Rossi blow?

Daniele De Rossi reportedly suffered an ankle injury during Roma’s 4-2 victory over Napoli on Saturday.

According to Gazzetta dello Sport, De Rossi pulled up with the problem towards the end of the match, making him “a serious doubt” for Friday’s clash with Torino.

The newspaper adds even if the midfielder was fit, he would likely be rested for Roma’s Champions League last-16 tie with Shakhtar Donetsk, with his side trailing 2-1.

The 34-year-old has made 21 appearances for the Giallorossi in all competitions this season.

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