Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis has seemingly requested a lower price for Real Madrid attacking midfielder James Rodríguez, while the Serie A club are in no hurry for a deal.
The 27-year-old is bracing himself for a Santiago Bernabeu exit after months of speculation regarding his long-term future. He’s spent the last two season on loan at Bayern Munich, but the Bavarians opted against making the deal permanent this summer.
Napoli have long been favourites for James’ signature but are looking to negotiate a lower fee for the out-of-favour star.
Napoli president Aurelio de Laurentiis spoke to Sky Italia, via Football Espana, about the Rodríguez transfer and what it takes to secure him.
“We are willing to make sacrifices to secure a deal for James, but Real Madrid must do more,” he is quoted as saying. “We do want to buy him, but we are not in any hurry.
“We have not given up hope on securing a deal, but Madrid must consider that it is better to sell him, or loan him, rather than have him unhappy at the club.”
The outspoken president also confirmed that there has been no direct contact between himself and the Santiago Bernabeu hierarchy over a new offer but indicated that manager Carlo Ancelotti has viewed James as the priority in the transfer market.
This comes as no surprise as the illustrious manager previously worked with the playmaker during his time in charge of both Real and Bayern.
The 2014 Golden Boot winner has found himself on the bottom of the pecking order as his relationship with manager Zinedine Zidane slowly deteriorated over time with Zidane’s decision to leave James out of the Champions League final squad in 2017 being the tipping point.
With one of the biggest summer spending sprees in history, the 13-time Champions League winners are eager to recoup the majority of the €75m fee they splashed out five years ago when signing Rodriguez from Monaco in order to fund some more transfer dealings with Paul Pogba among those linked.