Napoli manager Carlo Ancelotti has reiterated his desire to bring James Rodriguez to the club from Real Madrid as negotiations between the two sides continue to stall.
Having finished runners-up to Juventus in each of the last two seasons, Napoli are looking to topple their rivals this year, and identified Rodriguez as a key player for this project at the start of the summer. However, they have been unable to complete a deal for the Colombian playmaker yet.
This has opened the door for other clubs to make their move, with Atletico Madrid said to be interested in signing the midfielder. Marca have reported that Real Madrid are seeking €40m and would be willing to sell to their city rivals.
Despite these rumours, Ancelotti appears to be remaining calm, insisting that Napoli are still trying to find a solution to bring Rodriguez to Italy.
"We're still talking for James, a player that I really like. I'm very attached to James, I rate him very highly and he can certainly improve our team", Ancelotti told TV Luna (via Football Italia).
Having signed for Real Madrid for €75m back in 2014, Rodriguez has gone under the radar in recent years, struggling to consistently reproduce the form that saw him win the 2014 World Cup Golden Boot. That does not concern Ancelotti though, who is convinced of Rodriguez's quality after working with him briefly at Bayern Munich two years ago.
"He doesn't need to re-announce himself, he's a great player", said Ancelotti.
Away from the battle to sign Rodriguez, there is more positive news on the signing of Eljif Elmas from Fenerbahce. The Macedonian midfielder enjoyed a breakthrough season in Turkey last year and is expected to complete his move to Naples in the coming days, replacing Amadou Diawara, who signed for Roma at the start of the month.