Agent of '€25m Ashley Cole replacement': Can't say no to Napoli, but...


Ricardo Rodriguez’s agent has expressed a great affinity for Napoli – but says his client will stay put for the time being.

The Swiss international has been in brilliant form for Wolfsburg this campaign, playing every minute available in Bundesliga action to amass a trio of each goals and assists.

At just 21, he’s stood at the fore of a squad at the Volkswagen Arena that appears poised for a run at Champions League football – just three points adrift of fourth place with 18 games contested.

A fortnight ago, Italian sources claimed that Chelsea had taken advantage of negotiations for Kevin De Bruyne to enquire about Rodriguez.

Talks were believed to be underway in view of bringing the youngster to Stamford Bridge at the steep price of €25m – a long-term replacement for Ashley Cole at left-back.

Yet the trail has seemingly gone cold for the Blues – perhaps balking at the hefty sum reportedly requested to take on the burgeoning star.

Rodriguez’s agent has now denied claims that Napoli have made an approach for the Wolfsburg man, remaining bullish on his desire to stay with his current employers – though seemed to leave the door open for a summer move.

“I was never officially contacted by Napoli, and I believe Wolfsburg weren’t either,” Gianluca Di Domenico told Radio CRC.

“Currently, the player is comfortable in his club, looking to the Champions League.

“Rodriguez would require a great investment, so I see him as a player to buy in June.

“It would be interesting to play in a club with his national side team-mates, however.

“Napoli is a great team with great fans – playing at the San Paolo is a privilege and not many players get the chance to do so in their career.

“Nobody would say no to Napoli, but Rodriguez has to abide by his contract with Wolfsburg.”

Swiss internationals Gokhan Inler, Valon Behrami and Blerim Dzemaili all currently ply their trade in Rafael Benitez’s side – potentially key in influencing Rodriguez’s choice when he is ready for a new challenge.

The left-back certainly won’t come cheap when the time comes to leave Wolfsburg – though Napoli owner Aurelio De Laurentiis is no stranger to splashing the cash on transfers.

It looks as if the Partenopei may have a leg up on the competition in the future for Rodriguez – Di Domenico admitting “my allegiance will only be with Napoli” in Wednesday’s Coppa Italia tie with Lazio.

Should the Swiss move on the right formula may indeed exist to push him towards the San Paolo – though it remains to be seen whether financial constraints or personal sympathies will ultimately determine the left-back’s destination.

image: © luigig

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