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James Rodriguez & Rodrigo welcome at Napoli says midfielder Fabian

  • September 11, 2019
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The duo are “great names”, claims the Spain international, and could move to Serie A if they want

James Rodriguez and Rodrigo would be welcome at Napoli, according to Azzurri midfielder Fabian Ruiz.

Real Madrid playmaker James is likely to be available after Bayern Munich opted not to sign the 27-year-old Colombia international permanently at the end of his two-year loan spell.

Bayern could have signed James for €42 million  (£36m/$47m) but he has struggled to get regular game time during his tenure in Bavaria and was not considered a replacement for departing wingers Franck Ribery or Arjen Robben. 

Napoli have been linked with James – who played under their head coach Carlo Ancelotti in Madrid and Munich – and Valencia’s Spanish striker Rodrigo, who has scored 24 La Liga goals across the previous two seasons.

And the former Benfica forward netted five goals in eight Copa del Rey appearances as Valencia claimed the title by beating Barcelona in the final 2-1 to put pressure on Ernesto Valverde.

Fabian, an international team-mate of Rodrigo, feels both players would improve Napoli.

“Playing with great players is always better,” he told Sky in Italy .

“I think Rodrigo is a great striker, every team would like to have him and I would be very happy if he came to us.

“Both he and James are great names. They would be welcome in Naples.”

One player who Napoli will hope to hold onto is Belgium international Dries Mertens.

The forward has been prolific since joining in 2013 and is fourth on the list of the club’s all-time leading scorers, but he is out of contract in 2020 and Fabian is keen to see Mertens pledge his future to Napoli.

“With Dries, we talk almost every day,” he added.

“We have been together since the first moment I arrived in Naples, he has welcomed me very well.

“I, like all the others, would be very happy if he signed. For us, he is a very important player.”

Mertens suggested back in November that he could look to move to China when his contract runs down. 

The winger’s compatriots Axel Witsel and Yannick Carrasco have recently moved to Asia after impressing in Europe and Mertens could look to follow them, although Witsel has since signed for Borussia Dortmund. 

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