Napoli are reportedly in pole position in the race to complete the deal for Arsenal target James Rodriguez from Real Madrid next summer.

Colombia international is likely to leave the Galacticos after failing to impress manager Zinedine Zidane, netting just once in La Liga this season.

Reports have claimed that the north Londoners are keen on completing a deal for the South American, with the club even exploring the possibility of landing him in January.

According to the latest reports from Spain, however, Partenopei are currently leading the race to complete James’ signature.

The playmaker has a good relationship with Napoli manager Carlo Ancelotti, who he worked alongside in the Spanish capital and Bayern Munich.

It has also been claimed that Los Blancos would be willing to sell Rodriguez to the Gunners if they received Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in return.

Meantime, Arsenal interim manager Freddie Ljungberg has been reportedly identified as a genuine candidate for the permanent manager role at the club.

The former midfielder, who spent nine campaigns at the North London club, was confirmed as interim coach following the club’s decision to sack Unai Emery previous week.

Ljungberg’s first match in the dugout saw his Arsenal side claim a 2-2 draw with Daniel Farke’s Norwich City at Carrow Road on Sunday afternoon.

According to the Evening Standard, the club’s board will give Ljungberg the chance to prove himself ahead of choosing a permanent manager.