Real Madrid hope to bring in 300 million euros from sales this summer and one of the players who looks set to depart the Santiago Bernabeu for a sizeable fee is James Rodriguez, following the end of his two-year loan spell at Bayern Munich.
The 27-year-old is one of Madrid’s players with a high sell-on value – around 70m euros – but there are a few problems emerging between where James wants to go and where the club are pushing him towards.
Los Blancos are aware that the largest fee is likely to come from the Premier League, for instance, but James is unwilling to go to England.
Real Madrid, Bayern… Napoli?
At present, there are continuous rumours linking James with a move to Serie A and, in particular, Napoli.
The Partenopei, whose coach is James’ former Madrid boss, Carlo Ancelotti, made an offer to Madrid a few weeks ago, but it was far from what they are expecting to receive for the Colombian.
Nevertheless, Ancelotti is not giving up and he continues to reaffirm his message that James is his No.1 target ahead of next season.
For Ancelotti, James is the type of player upon which projects can be built. The playmaker was under the Italian’s tutelage in his debut campaign at Madrid, following his exceptional performances at the 2014 World Cup, and he tried taking him to Bayern when he became coach there in 2016.
One potential issue for Napoli is that they may have to fight Juventus for his signature. The Bianconeri view James as the perfect replacement for Paulo Dybala, should he leave this summer.
Meanwhile, James is preparing for the Copa America with Colombia. He is still a Bayern player for the time being, but the German giants have made it clear that they will not be making his loan move permanent.