James Rodríguez stalling on Napoli with Atlético in mind

Reports in Colombia suggest the Real Madrid midfielder would prefer to move across town to the Metropolitano than join up with former boss Carlo Ancelotti.

James Rodríguez stalling on Napoli with Atlético in mind

James Rodríguez is reportedly cooling on the idea of a reunion with his former Real Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti at Napoli amid interest from Atlético Madrid.

According to Colombian broadcaster Gol Caracol, the midfielder has been made aware of interest in his services from across the Spanish capital and is waiting to see if that morphs into a concrete offer before making any decision on a move to Serie A, despite Napoli’s very public courting of the Real Madrid player and offer of Maradona's number 10 shirt as a sweetener.

James remains under contract at the Bernabéu after Bayern Munich opted not to take up a purchase option of 42 million euros on the 27-year-old, but his relationship with Zinedine Zidane is far from cordial and the summer splurge at the Bernabéu leaves Florentino Pérez needing to cash in on the Frenchman’s unwanted squad players to balance the books.

Real Madrid courting suitors for James Rodríguez

Real have made just short of 100m euros in sales so far this summer, which covers the acquisition of Eden Hazard from Chelsea, but still have plenty of deadwood to shift before Zidane and his squad get their pre-season underway.

Atlético have made a statement in the market already with the signing of Benfica sensation Joao Félix for a fee of 126m but expect to pocket the same amount for Antoine Griezmann when the France striker’s painfully protracted move to Barcelona finally goes through.

Real want around 45m for James and Atlético are hardly short of cash after selling Lucas Hernández to Bayern for 80m, Rodri to Manchester City for 70m and offloading the misfiring Gelson Martins to Monaco for 30m.