Napoli closing in on a move to sign James Rodriguez

Sudip Banerjee

Bengaluru, June 19: Premier League duo Manchester United and Arsenal have reportedly lost out in the chase for James Rodriguez. Both Premier League giants were believed to be plotting a swoop to bring the out of favour Colombian to the Premier League.

But reports in Italy claim that the 27-year-old is closing in on a move to Napoli to reunite with Carlo Ancelotti under whom he had his best moments in a Real Madrid shirt.

The gifted midfielder, currently on duty for his country at Copa America, has failed to hit the heights for the Galacticos since his arrival in 2014. Rodriguez has spent the past two seasons on-loan with Bayern Munich, but despite helping them to consecutive Bundesliga crowns, he failed to secure a permanent move to Germany.

The attacker is surplus to requirements at the Bernabeu with boss Zinedine Zidane hoping to free up some space on the wage bill by shifting him out.

According to reports, personal terms have been agreed between the player and Partenopei. However, there still remains some haggling to be done before the deal is wrapped up. Real Madrid are reluctant to sanction another loan deal, instead preferring to cut ties with Rodriguez for good for at least £35 million.

But Napoli are insisting they are only interested in a 12-month loan with an option to buy next summer. Rodriguez's £6.5m-a-year wages could also have proved a problem but Adidas are claimed to be helping.

It was reported earlier this week that the sportswear giant, who sponsor Rodriguez, are willing to pay 20 per cent towards his salary in the belief his brand is still "unexploited" in Italy.

A move to Napoli could prove to be a good one for the Colombian who has plenty to prove at the top level. Under Ancelotti, he can once again redeem himself and show the world why he was one of the biggest names in world football a few years back.

Also Read:

Atletico Madrid eager to sign Granit Xhaka

Rumour Has It: Neymar looks for house in Barcelona, PSG want Casemiro in possible Madrid deal

Arsenal agree personal terms with William Saliba