Atletico Madrid are now pessimistic about their chances of completing the signing of James Rodriguez from Real Madrid, say Marca.
Madrid are said to be unwilling to sell the player to a direct rival but neither do they want to keep him, while Napoli’s idea of a loan move before a permanent signing is not to Madrid’s wishes – so there appears to be total deadlock.
Diario AS have also added that Diego Simeone sees James as forming part of his new-look attack alongside Joao Felix and Thomas Lemar, with Diego Costa or Alvaro Morata starting as the lead frontman.
James has returned to Madrid following a two-year loan spell at Bayern Munich having started just 13 Bundesliga matches this campaign and is said to want more regular first-team football.
The former Porto and Monaco star spent three seasons at Los Blancos, helping them to two European titles, but started just 13 La Liga games in his final campaign.
Napoli boss Carlo Ancelotti brought James from Monaco to the Spanish capital back in 2014 and worked with him again during his time with Bundesliga giants Bayern.