Multiple reports now suggest James Rodriguez and Real Madrid are leaning towards Atletico Madrid, as Napoli won’t buy him outright.
President Aurelio De Laurentiis stated openly that he has no intention of purchasing James in one cash sum, preferring to take the Colombia international on loan with option to buy.
This irritated Real Madrid, who had until then been eager to sell abroad rather than reinforce their direct Liga and city rivals.
Now several Spanish and Italian papers, along with CalcioNapoli24, note James feels unappreciated by Napoli too and is ready to accept a less stressful transfer to Atletico Madrid.
The asking price is €42m and Real Madrid would be prepared to take a loan with obligation to buy at the end of the season.
However, De Laurentiis remains adamant he wants no guarantee of purchase.
On top of that, there is another reason why James is ready to walk away from Napoli, which is they are refusing to match the salary he currently earns at Real Madrid, whereas Atleti would keep it at the same level.
According to the latest reports, Real Madrid have given Napoli until Thursday to close the deal or they'll start Atletico Madrid talks instead.