• Pablo Lario

A Colombian's Club Swapping Diary

James Rodriguez will not continue at Bayern Munich next season, and everything seems to indicate that Zinedine Zidane doesn't count with him at Real Madrid either. With the Colombian midfielder in the transfer market, a certain team has now appeared in the horizon as his possible destination.

Although the will of James Rodriguez would be to return happily to Real Madrid, the fact that Zinedine Zidane is the new coach of the Galacticos thwarts this possibility, and will clearly make the Colombian midfielder have to look for a new life away from the Spanish capital. Real Madrid intends to reap the economical benefits of his transfer, especially after the transfer spendings on Luka Jovic, Rodrygo, Eder Militao, Eden Hazard and the imminent Ferland Mendy (Seriously? When is this guy gonna arrive? What? He just arrived? Jesus Christ!).

So, now, the question is clear: Where will James go? Premier League? Serie A? Back to the Bundesliga? Or just back home? (For option 1, press 1. For option 2... What's going on?)

It all looks like Naples would be the destination James Rodriguez's plane will take very soon. Former Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti, now coach of Napoli at Serie A, seems to have the Colombian star's 'OK', who he previously coached at the Madrid club.

According to 'Il Corriere dello Sport' Real Madrid has set James Rodríguez's price at £41 million. It is the amount that Bayern Munich had to pay to keep the Colombian. Bayern's answer: We don't want him! But, thank you, s******! That's why Napoli is preparing their star signing for next season. Carlo Ancelotti has worked with James before, and knows his strengths and weaknesses very well. In Madrid, they coincided and the Colombian midfielder showed a great level under the Italian's orders.

In fact, on a numerical level, James had his best season under his coaching: 17 goals and 17 assists in 2014/15 with 'Carletto' on the white bench. Napoli could be preparing a five-year contract for the Colombian. The key to Rodriguez signing will be to reach an agreement with Jorge Mendes, the player's agent (Thank God it's not Mino Raiola, man), and also get a nice discount from Florentino Perez, in what concerns the player's bulging salary.

The transfer for the ex-Bavarian player is going to be quite expensive, so clearly, Napoli will need to sell some of their players. For now, the favourites to leave are right-back Elseid Hysaj, who's on Atlético de Madrid and Inter's agenda and centre-back Mario Rui.

Napoli does not want to sell much more this summer, as they're looking to build a competitive team that can be a challenge to perennial front runners, Juventus, this upcoming season, and hopefully, the next ones to come. In recent statements to 'Sport Mediaset', Napoli's president, Aurelio De Laurentiis, has admitted that he's working hard on the possible signings of James Rodríguez and Hirving Lozano, from Real Madrid and PSV Eindhoven respectively. "I'm not going to sign Icardi, but Lozano and James Rodríguez? We will see," he commented. So, if James finally moves to Italy, it will be the third season the Colombian is under Italian mastermind Carlo Ancelotti.

In the end, the decision is in the Colombian's hands: Will he stay and try to get a place under Zidane's Real Madrid (Pogba incoming)? Will he join Carletto at Napoli (Best option)? Or will he just go home and drink a cup of Colombian coffe? We'll just need to wait and see. Summer is long, man... Summer is long.

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