Ancelotti: Napoli still negotiating James Rodriguez transfer

Napoli head coach Carlo Ancelotti provided a transfer update on James Rodriguez and Eljif Elmas.

James Rodriguez has been linked with a move to Napoli.   -  Getty Images

Carlo Ancelotti said Napoli is still negotiating a deal to prise James Rodriguez from Real Madrid as Atletico Madrid reportedly circles.

James has been linked with Napoli throughout the transfer window, but a deal reuniting the Colombia star and head coach Ancelotti is yet to materialise. Atletico has emerged as a possible destination for James amid a deadlock in talks between Napoli and La Liga giant Madrid.

Asked about Napoli's pursuit of James, Ancelotti told TV Luna: "I'm not aware of a deal with Atletico.

'Great player'

"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. He doesn't need to re-announce himself, he's a great player. But he's not the only player we're openly negotiating for. We're assessing many players."

While negotiations for James drag on, Napoli is close to signing Fenerbahce and Macedonia midfielder Eljif Elmas. With Amadou Diawara now at Roma and Marko Rog poised for Cagliari, Napoli has turned to the 19-year-old Elmas as Ancelotti's men look to dethrone Serie A champion Juventus in 2019-20.

"We're very close and I hope a deal closes quickly. He's a very interesting player and we're defining the final details," Ancelotti added. "I hope he arrives before we leave Dimaro.

"We were looking for a player skilled at playing between the lines, and Elmas has a lot of quality. The squad is already very complete. We have to take a little step at a time. We're very close to the top. We'll be happy as of August 31. Napoli are working and nothing is impossible, but then there are the wants of the players or problems with the clubs or agents."