Thursday July 25 2019
Ancelotti: 'Pepe and James talks ongoing'

Carlo Ancelotti confirms Napoli are in talks for Nicolas Pepe and James Rodriguez, while denying Arkadiusz Milik would leave if Mauro Icardi arrived.

The Coach spilled the beans on their transfer strategy in this afternoon’s Press conference, which inevitably started with questions about Lille winger Pepe’s agents visiting the training camp.

“They were in our hotel. I said hello, as I did with all the agents who came here. Obviously, we are interested in Pepe, his agents are here and there’s no point hiding that. Negotiations are in progress and we’ll see what happens.

“Pepe is a wide attacking player. We want to find someone who can play between the lines, without forgetting that Milik is a centre-forward, but also strong with his feet.”

With Pepe in advanced talks, does that mean Napoli are dropping their interest in Real Madrid outcast James Rodriguez?

“All negotiations are still open. Real Madrid want to sell and Napoli want to sign him,” continued Ancelotti.

“There is no optimism or pessimism. There are players who interest us and we’ll see what happens.”

The tactician was asked if the arrival of Icardi from Inter would necessarily lead to Milik being sold, amid Real Betis interest?

“None of our players are currently on the market. All the players are here because we intend to keep them. Of course, if someone wants to try a new experience, we’re here to listen.”

Napoli already purchased Eljif Elmas from Fenerbahce this week for €16m.

“He can play on the left in a four-man midfield, in front of the defence, as a trequartista – he is a modern midfielder. Football is changing and it’s difficult to find specialists in a role, because we ask different things from players and they have evolved.

“Elmas is like Fabian Ruiz and Piotr Zielinski in that he can play in every position.”

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