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NAPOLI | REAL MADRID

Madrid must "make sacrifices" with James - Napoli president

Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis has asked Real Madrid to “make sacrifices” in order to allow James make his desired move to the Serie A club.

Madrid must "make sacrifices" with James - Napoli president
RAUL ARBOLEDA AFP

Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis has once again spoken about target James Rodriguez in an interview with Sky Italia, in which he urged Real Madrid to lower their demands on the Colombian.

The 28-year-old is a top priority for Napoli coach Carlos Ancelotti, who is regarded as getting the best out of the midfielder during his time at Real Madrid and brief spell at Bayern Munich, where the player was on loan for the past two seasons. 

Real Madrid must “make sacrifices” on James

But the Italian club’s president has said that they are not prepared to meet Madrid’s demands and asked the Bernabéu board to “make sacrifices” and consider letting James move on loan, rather than having him lounge on the bench. 

Napoli president Aurelio de Laurentiis.

“We’ve not given up, but in order to break the ice we need Madrid to consider that rather than have an unhappy player sitting around, they should send him out to play. Perhaps on loan,” De Laurentiis told Sky Italia (via Football Italia), before dismissing media reports that he had been in contact with Madrid president Florentino Perez regarding the Colombian player.

“I read a lot of stories that are untrue… I don’t talk to Florentino Perez about James, as we have (director of sport Cristiano) Giuntoli and an agent-friend of James, who is also our friend (Jorge Mendes), so we don’t need to talk to Florentino,” he said. 

“If he were to call me, I could answer the phone, but I’ve never spoken directly to Perez, as some impudently reported."

Working with Ancelotti “would be gift” for James

Following Ancelotti’s departure from the Bernabéu bench in 2015, James’ performance dipped at Real Madrid, prompting the club to loan him to Bayern Munich in 2017. But after failing to convince the Bayern hierarchy, the club decided not to execute their option to purchase him in June.

James and Ancelotti together at Real Madrid.

Now the Colombian is officially a member of the Madrid squad again. Although, he is aware he has no place under coach Zinedine Zidane and is reportedly keen to move to Southern Italy to work with Ancelotti once again after having spoken directly with the Italian coach.

“It’d be a gift for him. Studying this player, I realised he only ever really delivered on two occasions, both with Carlo Ancelotti on the bench, at Real Madrid and Bayern Munich,” added De Laurentiis.

“For him, this is a guarantee of being satisfied, central to our project and decisive on the field. He has understood that, he knows, Ancelotti spoke to him and was able to motivate him. We’ll see what happens… we are waiting for the time to be right.”