Football News

Napoli boss Carlo Ancelotti hopeful over James Rodriguez deal

By Ollie Thomas

Published: 14:40, 11 July 2019

Carlo Ancelotti has admitted he “doesn’t know” whether James Rodriguez will join Napoli this summer but remains hopeful.

It has been well publicised that Ancelotti is interested in reuniting with Rodriguez and the Italian says he “hopes” his dreams can become a reality before the end of the window.

Ancelotti and James Rodriguez: Five key things to know…

  • The pair first worked together at Real Madrid, where Ancelotti signed James for £63 million.
  • James’ game-time became limited after Ancelotti was sacked.
  • Ancelotti then became manager of Bayern Munich and signed James on loan in 2017.
  • Bayern’s president said he “had Ancelotti to thank” for attracting James to Germany.
  • It was announced in June that Rodriguez would return to Real Madrid, who are open to selling him.

The Italian told reporters: “I don’t know if he’ll come, but we hope so.

“I know him very well, he can play in all the midfield positions. I used him as a left-winger, as a number 10 and even on the right.

“His position on the pitch isn’t a problem. He’s adaptable, he can play in many positions.

“As for the number 10 shirt, the important thing is that he puts on the Azzurri jersey. His number isn’t important. However, he needs time and patience.”

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Napoli are reportedly interested in just a loan with a view to a permanent deal but Madrid are keen to sell James as quickly as possible as they look to continue the revamp of their squad this summer.

Los Blancos finished third in La Liga last season but have already spent over £280 million on players this summer – bringing in Eden Hazard, Eder Militao, Luka Jovic and Ferland Mendy – and are reportedly still after the likes of Kylian Mbappe and Christian Eriksen. Whether they can get rid of James Rodriguez could play a crucial role in their squad for next season.