Napoli are poised to complete the signing of Real Madrid superstar James Rodriguez as Los Merengues continue their squad overhaul this summer.
According to Marca, Napoli have moved one step closer to completing the transfer of James Rodriguez. It is believed that the club’s sporting director, Cristiano Giuntoli, is in Madrid to hold final talks with Real Madrid and the deal could soon be completed, although the initial report claimed that it is going to be officiated by Tuesday.
Real Madrid reportedly want €42 million for the Colombian international. But, Napoli initially want to secure a season-long loan deal with a clause that gives them the option to buy, which makes sense given the fact that James could potentially falter in Serie A, having never played in the Italian top-flight before.
He did, however, enjoy an excellent stint in the Bundesliga with Bayern Munich during his two-year loan spell back. During his time in Germany, the ex-AS Monaco star made 43 league appearances, scoring 14 goals and providing 15 assists.
Although James did not enjoy a particularly successful 2018-19 campaign, often being frozen out of the squad by Niko Kovac, the 27-year-old was still involved in 11 goals in just 20 league matches, helping the Bavarian seal their seventh successive Bundesliga title. As a result, he has been linked with a move away from Real Madrid this summer, with the interest from Napoli surfacing recently.
A move to Napoli makes sense as he could further strengthen Carlo Ancelotti’s options in the final third. He had worked with the Italian tactician during their time together at Bayern and Real Madrid, which could come in handy in his bid to integrate to the highly tactical nature of Italian football.
The Colombian international could feature as a wide attacker alongside club captain Lorenzo Insigne in Napoli’s 4-4-2 setup, with Arkadiusz Milik and Dries Mertens leading the line. The 27-year-old could potentially be an upgrade over Simone Verdi given his excellent chance creation and productivity in the final third.
As for Real Madrid, the potential departure of James makes sense as he was unlikely to find regular game-time in an attack that has been heavily reinforced with the addition of Luka Jovic, Eden Hazard and Rodrygo.
Hazard, in particular, will play a key role for Los Blancos next season and beyond while Zinedine Zidane will also have the services of existing stars such as Isco and Marco Asensio, although the latter has been a subject of major interest from Tottenham Hotspur this summer.
Therefore, getting rid of someone like James will not only free up space in the squad but will also help Los Merengues fund moves for their remaining transfer targets. Christian Eriksen and Paul Pogba are the two players who have been linked with a move to Santiago Bernabeu this summer, and it will be interesting to see how this transfer saga takes shape in the coming weeks.