Ancelotti: "Madrid want to sell James and we want to buy him"

Napoli coach Carlos Ancelotti has spoken about transfer targets James Rodriguez and Lille's Nicolas Pepe from the club's training base in Dimora.

Ancelotti: "Madrid want to sell James and we want to buy him"

Napoli coach Carlos Ancelotti has attended a press conference at the club’s training base in Dimaro in Northern Italy, in which he was quizzed about two summer transfer targets, Nicolas Pepe and James Rodriguez.

Reports from Italy, including from the club’s official radio, claimed that James’ agent Jorge Mendes was set to have an important meeting with Napoli president Aurelio de Laurentiis this Thursday morning.

But surprisingly it was not James' agent Mendes who was seen arriving to Dimaro on Thursday, but the two agents of Lille forward Pepe, another prime objective of the Gli Azzurri this summer. And coach Ancelotti confirmed that he had spoken to the player’s representatives but did not go into more detail.

“I have spoken with the agents of Pepe, like all of those who have visited us here. If they are here, it is because we are interested, but I cannot say anything else, there is ongoing negotiation. From here to the close of the market anything can happen,” said the Italian manager.

James Rodriguez: Napoli-Real Madrid talks ongoing

When asked about Real Madrid midfielder James, who is understood to favour a move to Napoli to reunite with his former coach, Ancelotti confirmed negotiations were ongoing with the LaLiga club, who are looking to offload the Colombian as part of their summer clear-out operation.

“I am neither optimistic nor pessimistic about James,” said the ex-Chelsea boss.

“He is among the players that interest us. We will see what happens, there is still a month. The negotiations are open. Real Madrid wants to sell him, and Napoli want to sign him.”

Ancelotti and his squad are set to fly to Scotland this weekend, where they will face Liverpool at Edinburgh’s Murrayfield Stadium on Sunday, ahead of fixtures against Marseille and Barcelona in August.