Real Madrid outcast James targeted by Italian team

The on-loan Real Madrid midfielder seems unlikely to remain at Bayern Munich and is surplus to Zinedine Zidane’s requirements, alerting former boss Carlo Ancelotti.

James Rodríguez has emerged as a target for Carlo Ancelotti’s Napoli as the on-loan Real Madrid midfielder seeks a new side for next season with Bayern Munich looking increasingly unlikely to take up a 42-million-euro purchase option on the Colombia international.

James has fallen out of favour at the Allianz Arena under Niko Kovac and the Bayern board have cooled their interest in taking the 27-year-old on a permanent basis at the end of his two-year loan arrangement in Bavaria.

Speaking to Radio CRC, Italian sports journalist Stefano Agresti said that James could be among the type of player Ancelotti is looking at to push Napoli on and launch a major challenge to Juventus’ domestic stranglehold next season.

Napoli president Aurelio de Laurentiis has previously stated his ambition to bring in some big-name signings this summer and Agresti provided a few possible targets.

“It wouldn’t surprise me if a big-name striker like [Mauro] Icardi or Diego Costa arrived to complement [Arkadiusz] Milik. Napoli are now considered among the top clubs in Europe and it isn’t out of the question that players that might seem impossible, like James Rodríguez, arrive at the club.”

Elsewhere, Tuttosport have claimed that Juventus are interested in the Colombian as part of a major summer spending spree and while the draw of Cristiano Ronaldo may be tempting, so too will be the chance to work with Ancelotti again after the pair combined to produce James’ most successful season on a personal level at the Bernabéu in 2014-15 and reunited again in 2017 at Bayern.