The president of Colombian club Envigado has said that he is “surprised” at Everton director of football Marcel Brands’ statement about James Rodriguez’s transfer fee.
Indeed, the statement came after initial doubt over whether the playmaker had around €25million to sign.
But despite Brands delivering the financial closure, Envigado’s chief has disputed the situation.
His club, with whom James started his career, were due to receive windfall as part of FIFA’s solidarity payment scheme – had the transfer cost any money.
“I’m still surprised, everyone in Envigado is surprised because the statement of the Everton sporting director comes out coincidentally, when James is among the one hundred most influential players of the last ten years, he is at number fourteen,” the club president told La Casa Azul Radio (via Marca).
“Is a player of that level free? Envigado has already made the request to FIFA and Everton.
“It is true that it is free in the transfer system, but we are infinitely surprised because in addition, we knew and it is no secret that they had offers from Italian teams, who were willing to pay for his arrival.
“James is above many who today have 40 and 50 million euros for his transfer.”
James has nonetheless had a brilliant impact at Everton since his permanent transfer from Spain.
The 29-year-old netted three goals and assisted three others in his first six Premier League appearances.
However, his career at Goodison Park has stalled due to injury and he has only recently returned from a spell on the sidelines.
Everton eyeing Bayern striker
Meanwhile, reports have claimed that Everton are hoping to sign Joshua Zirkzee on loan from Bayern Munich this month.
Carlo Ancelotti wants to bring in attacking reinforcements after top scorer Dominic Calvert-Lewin suffered an injury.
Calvert-Lewin’s form has been pivotal to their promising first half of the season, so they need to find cover. According to talkSPORT, Zirkzee may be the man to fill the void.