Report: James Rodriguez close to Napoli move

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According to a report by Spanish publication AS, James Rodriguez is nearing a move to Napoli on a permanent transfer from Real Madrid.

The report says that with Colombia now out of the Copa America after falling to Chile in the quarterfinals, the move can progress to completion. AS reports that Rodriguez has agreed to a contract with the Serie A side in a deal worth $7.4 million per year, and now the two clubs will negotiate on a transfer structure.

Despite James not being in Zidane’s squad plans, Real Madrid wants $57 million for his services, according to the AS report. Napoli is instead proposing a loan-to-buy deal to allow them to procure the funds and pay out later. That may not be ideal for Real Madrid who is looking to spend enormous sums of money this summer to overhaul the squad after a disappointing season and could want the income soon to balance the books. Still, it might be the best deal Real Madrid gets for the Colombian, with Napoli offering around $11 million in a loan fee for this season followed by $46 million next summer to seal the permanent transfer.

At Napoli, Rodriguez would link up with Carlo Ancelotti for the third time in his career after playing for the Italian at both Real Madrid and Bayern Munich previously. James returned to Madrid after a two-year loan at Bayern did not result in a permanent purchase, but Madrid was never going to keep him at the Bernabeu.

James played just 20 times in Bundesliga action last season, scoring seven goals while hampered by knee and calf problems. He was a regular for Colombia at the Copa America this summer, failing to find the back but assisting a pair.