Napoli have been handed a boost in their chase of Real Madrid’s unwanted man James Rodriguez.
The Colombian midfielder has been left in limbo in the Spanish capital after Bayern Munich refused to convert last season’s loan deal to a permanent one.
Atletico Madrid and Napoli were thought to have been tussling for his signature, but it appears that the Spanish side have pulled out from the race after president Enrique Cerezo declared the squad is already ‘competitive’.
In an interview that Cerezo gave to Radio Kiss Kiss Napoli, he stressed that the signings of Portugal teenager Joao Felix and Spain forward Alvaro Morata has made up for losing Antoine Griezmann to Barcelona.
He said: "James? Our team is strong this way and we believe we are already as competitive as we are with all competitions. The rose is closed. In football you never know what will happen tomorrow. Today I can only say that we are strong this way and that the rose is already made."
Napoli are now front-runners to land the player but are yet to agree terms with Madrid.