Inter boss Spalletti demands focus from Nainggolan

Radja Nainggolan was back in the Inter squad for its 1-0 win over Empoli and Luciano Spalletti wants him to cut out the distractions.

Inter midfielder Radja Nainggolan   -  Getty Images

Luciano Spalletti has called on Inter midfielder Radja Nainggolan to stop being distracted by matters outside of football.

Nainggolan returned to action as a second-half substitute in Saturday's 1-0 win at Empoli, having missed the Serie A victory against Napoli by the same scoreline for disciplinary reasons.

Spalletti also coached the 30-year-old Belgian midfielder at Roma and brought him to San Siro this year.

Nevertheless, that close bond does not prevent him from taking a strict approach when the combative Nainggolan steps out of line.

"We love him, he is a sensitive boy and he has all the qualities of the person who behaves correctly. But sometimes even the father grumbles with his son," Spalletti told reporters.

"Radja is attracted to other things and if you put too many things in front of the soccer you do not win."

Back-to-back wins to close 2018 mean Inter lies third in Serie A, five points shy of Napoli in second.

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