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Serie A News: ‘It's a dream that James is coming to Napoli, but don't touch the No.10 shirt’, says Maradona Jr

2.07K   //    10 Jul 2019, 13:07 IST

Colombia v Chile: Quarterfinal - Copa America Brazil 2019
Colombia v Chile: Quarterfinal - Copa America Brazil 2019

What's the story?

Diego Maradona Junior, the son of Argentine icon Diego Maradona, has expressed his delight at the prospect of James Rodriguez's arrival at Napoli but has warned him not to take the No.10 shirt which was donned by his father during his stint with the Italian giants.

In case you didn't know...

Rodriguez has emerged as a transfer favorite for Napoli, who are interested in taking the midfielder on loan this summer. Los Blancos, on the other hand, want a permanent sale for €42 million as they continue to raise funds for their already-busy transfer window.

The 27-year-old, who was surplus to requirements at Real Madrid, recently concluded his two-year loan stint at Bayern Munich, with the Bundesliga champions refusing to take up a permanent transfer.  

Atletico Madrid are also reported to be interested in the Colombia international's services and are closely monitoring his situation. The Blancos are, however, believed to favor Rodriguez's move to Italy than to their city rivals.

The heart of the matter

Maradona Jr has expressed his joy at the prospect of Rodriguez coming to Napoli but has issued a stern message warning the Colombian not to take his father's No.10 shirt.

He said (via Marca), “It’s a dream that James is coming to Napoli. A footballer of this quality, with his left foot, can make the team better. The city will welcome him with open arms, and I’m sure that he’ll be able to perform at his best. From what I know, everything is very advanced. All that’s left to sort out is the formula of the operation. Everything else is done.”

Napoli had retired the number worn by the legendary Diego Maradona during the 1980s and 1990s, and his son appears to be incredibly protective of the shirt. He said, “Don’t touch the No.10 [shirt]. It’s a private property of the family. It’s my father’s.”

“There were rumors that they’d give it to [Gonzalo] Higuain when he arrived, then to [Lorenzo] Insigne, but it has to be like in the NBA. If you retire a shirt number, you can’t use it again.”

What's next?

Napoli sporting director Cristiano Giuntoli was believed to be in Madrid to finalize a deal for Rodriguez, and an announcement is reportedly expected soon.