Transfer market

James Rodríguez: Napoli give up on Real Madrid midfielder

According to La Gazzetta dello Sport, Aurelio De Laurentiis has set his sights on Hirving Lozano after Real Madrid's hardball stance over the Colombia international.

James Rodríguez: Napoli give up on Real Madrid midfielder

Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis has given up the chase for Real Madrid midfielder James Rodríguez and instead set his sights on landing Hirving Lozano from PSV after the Bernabéu board’s consistent refusal to accept a year-long loan deal for the Colombia international.

Napoli were willing to agree to a purchase clause to land the 28-year-old but Madrid would prefer to hold out for a fee – an outcome that is receding quickly with the Premier League transfer market closed, Atlético Madrid no longer interested in a deal and no other offers on the table for James.

According to La Gazzetta dello Sport, De Laurentiis has tired of Madrid’s stance and instead decided to pursue Mexico international Lozano, largely because at 24 the Napoli chief sees a future profit on the winger that he is unlikely to get in the case of James.

James stuck in limbo at Real Madrid

Napoli are on the verge of giving up on James Rodríguez. Aurelio De Laurentiis is not willing to sanction a purchase, as Florentino Pérez desires. [Napoli sporting director] Cristiano Giuntoli has instead directed his attention entirely towards Hirving Lozano and is in negotiations with PSV,” the Italian daily stated.

It is a situation that suits nobody, with James almost entirely out of the picture under Zinedine Zidane and Real Madrid currently bursting at the seams with creative midfielders. Napoli, meanwhile, will not achieve their goal of signing a global superstar – who also enjoyed his most productive season since winning the 2014 World Cup Golden Boot under Carlo Ancelotti at Madrid – despite even going so far as to offer to bring Diego Maradona’s number 10 shirt out of retirement at the San Paolo in honour of the Colombian’s arrival.