Real Madrid superstar James Rodriguez is reportedly close to sealing a move to Napoli, where he would be reunited with Italian manager Carlo Ancelotti.
According to a report by Sky in Italy, James Rodriguez is set to embark on a new loan spell away from Real Madrid in the summer transfer window. The Colombian international is on the verge of joining Italian outfit Napoli on a one-year loan deal that will have the obligation to buy him next summer.
The 27-year-old spent the last two years on loan at Bayern Munich, where he amassed 67 outings, with a modest return of 15 goals and 20 assists. But, with the Bundesliga champions choosing not to exercise their option of buying him on a permanent deal, Rodriguez is now set to return to Real Madrid upon the expiration of the loan deal.
But, with Zinedine Zidane back at the helm, the Colombian superstar is not expected to have much of a future at the Bernabeu. Having been out of favour with the Frenchman before joining Bayern two years ago, Rodriguez is expected to have no future at Real Madrid and is set to join another club this summer.
But, up until now, there have been no major rumours pointing towards concrete interest from a suitor, with most links pointing towards fleeting interest from the Premier League. That is now set to change, with Napoli keen on swooping the player away from Real Madrid.
The Partenopei are managed by Carlo Ancelotti, who has managed to bring the best out of James Rodriguez while in-charge of Real Madrid and Bayern Munich. And, the interest in the 27-year-old makes sense for Napoli for a couple of reasons.
Firstly, with Allan and Amadou Diawara being linked with moves away from San Paolo, the player could be an option that can be utilised in central areas, where he has shown that he can be quite an asset during his time with Bayern. Alternatively, James could also be deployed in attack, depending on Ancelotti’s choice of formation (4-4-2 or 4-2-3-1).
More importantly, the Colombian international is a player who is privy to the style of the Italian manager, meaning he could quickly get settled at Napoli. And, the Serie A giants are closing in on securing his services on a season-long loan deal.
While the deal is far from ideal from Real Madrid’s perspective, Los Blancos know that with no serious interest towards a permanent move, their hand will be forced. Real Madrid are keen on balancing their books after a spending spree that has seen them sign Eden Hazard, Luka Jovic, Ferland Mendy and Eder Militao this summer.
Having said that, Real Madrid are going to include an obligation to buy Rodriguez permanently in the deal, as per the report, although the obligated fee has not been revealed. For now, what appears to be certain is that James Rodriguez will be leaving Real Madrid on-loan once again, this time for a reunion with Carlo Ancelotti at Napoli.