By Brian Bariyo Tumuramye
Colombia international James Rodriguez is set to join Italian giants Napoli this summer in a second loan move away from parent club Real Madrid. The 27-year-old is coming off the back of a mixed two-year spell with Bayern Munich, where in his first season Rodriguez was one of the Bundesliga’s best players before starting less than 10 league matches under Niko Kovač last season.
Bayern Munich decided against activating a purchase option in Rodriguez’s loan deal this summer, and Real Madrid have been left actively looking to move the Colombian on; once again as he isn’t is Zinedine Zidane’s plans next season, although it was appearing tough to find a new suitor for Rodriguez, ESPN Colombia report that the midfielder will now join Serie A outfit Napoli in another loan deal this summer.
Rodriguez is expected to cost an initial €10m however, Napoli will also have the option to sign Rodriguez permanently at the end of his loan deal for a fee between €30m and €40.
Many will feel that the Colombia international is taking a step down by moving to Napoli next season, this latest news hasn’t come as a major surprise as it will see Rodriguez link up with manager Carlo Ancelotti once again, the Italian head coach was behind Rodriguez’s initial move to Real Madrid in 2014, joining the club in a €75m deal from AS Monaco.
Having now spent a full season at Napoli, Ancelotti once again wants to link up with Rodriguez as he looks to build on the club’s second-place finish last season, Napoli haven’t made any high-profile outfield signings so far this summer, but they’re in the market for new addition after losing Jorginho, Marek Hamsik and Duván Zapata last season.
Ancelotti then convinced Bayern Munich to bring Rodriguez to Bavaria on loan in 2017, although he lost his job at the club just six games into that season following a defeat to Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League.