Napoli’s president: James Rodriguez is the third most profitable market player


Few people in football are open to media as Napoli's president Aurelio De Laurentiis, so when he let goes in front of cameras there's always sustenance.

The Italian film producer commented on the state of the club, the team, and what Neapolitans may expect from the current transfer window before it ends on September 2nd.

Most importantly, he gave his view of James Rodriguez's saga, which has not yet completed. It's expected that the Colombian will join the San Paolo club, and continue working with Carlo Ancelotti with whom he had good collaboration in Bayern Munich. But Napoli isn't the only interested team, and Atletico Madrid is lurking, even though it is believed that James's prefered choice would be the Italian club.

De Laurentiis explained the off-field value of the Colombian superstar who he considers very profitable.

"He is the player who, after Cristiano Ronaldo and Leo Messi, is the most media-friendly. Carlo Ancelotti really likes him and we are waiting for a more reasonable request. The stumbling block is represented by Real Madrid, who have in our view exaggerated expectations. But James wants to join Napoli."

The sum Real is expecting for the 27-year-old is in the range between 40 and 50 million euros. Most likely €42,000,000. Which shouldn’t be much in this market for the player of James’ level and experience, especially as De Laurentiis sees him as so profitable?

Many would consider Neymar to be the third most popular world player, but the Brazilian has image problems, due to his diving and his somewhat childish, unprofessional behaviour. While James is regarded as a good boy and beloved by women for his looks too, so it’s not an outlandish thought.

Napoli's president didn't hide that the club was rejected by Rodrigo as he wanted to stay in Spain. But the club already did some great business, acquiring Giovanni Di Lorenzo, David Ospina, and Kostas Manolas.  

"The most pressing need right now, I’d say the priority, is to sell. We have many players in the squad and it’s right to reduce the group, but we are also active and attentive on the market," said De Laurentiis.

He had an interesting view on the changing landscape of the Serie A ownership.

"Foreign owners are coming in, but the clubs that belong 100 per cent to Italian families – by which I mean Agnelli and De Laurentiis – build with a principle of guarantees that you don’t always see elsewhere. That’s an issue for us just as much as for clubs abroad."

De Laurentiis is one of the most involved owners of Europe's elite clubs and he believes, as most of us do too, that the following Serie A season can be one of the best in recent years.

"There has been a merry-go-round of coaches that revitalised Serie A. It’ll be a fascinating campaign, with six or seven teams that are closer to each other, so we should see it become more intriguing."

Inter's Antonio Conte believes that the battle for the Scudetto will still be between Napoli and Juve. But Aurelio de Laurentiis has his own view.

"It’s like a film when we still don’t know the script. It’ll be written as it goes along."

Will it bring the Oscar to Naples, remains to be seen.


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