Gil Marin, Atletico’s managing director, revealed the interest to ESPN but admitted that any deal would depend on the willingness of Real Madrid’s president Florentino Perez to approve a cross-city switch.
James returned to the Spanish capital after a two-year loan spell with Bayern Munich, and has since been linked with a move to Napoli.
But Marin admitted that Diego Simeone and those at the club are keen to hijack the deal, saying: “I know that many would like it (to sign James Rodriguez).
“I talked to some players, it would bring a lot of quality to our team. I know that Simeone likes it, that James does not want to continue in Real Madrid and that Real Madrid does not want it to continue, but there must be many circumstances for the transfer to take place.
“It would be very nice. The arrival of James depends very much on Florentino Perez.”