Everton star sets record straight but doubts linger over future

Seamus Coleman, James Rodriguez, Richarlison, Everton TEAMtalk

James Rodriguez has responded to the frenzied reporting over his reported links to Atletico Madrid and made it clear he did not post a cryptic message on Twitter.

The 30-year-old’s future at Everton has been the subject of many column inches over the summer. Rafael Benitez’s unexpected arrival as Carlo Ancelotti’ successor saw him linked with a move away from Goodison Park. The Colombia intranational has only been with the Toffees for one season after moving to Merseyside from Real Madrid.

He recently ramped up speculation over a summer departure with comments on his Everton situation.

“I don’t know, I don’t know where I’m going to play,” he said on Twitch, via the Liverpool Echo. “You know that in football and in life you don’t know anything but all I know is that I’ve been training hard, preparing well, training for myself and that’s it.

“It’s complicated. Wherever I’m wanted. Someone has to be at a place they’re wanted.”

Rafa Benitez, new Everton boss during his Newcastle days

On Tuesday, the former Monaco man posted a tweet featuring a selfie accompanied by the caption ‘Nunca dejes de creer’, which translates as ‘never stop believing’ in English.

That is also Atletico’s motto, with the media putting two and two together and apparently getting five. James has now had his say and it seems as though the reporting was wide of the mark.

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Speaking on a Twitch stream (via Marca) he said: “I didn’t know that this was the motto of this team, it was a total coincidence.

“I only put a personal message, I did not say that I am going to a club or for something. It has been the news for a whole day, I am not related to this club, there have been no talks, nothing, but everyone knows.”

James vulnerable to summer exit

Although the links to Atletico may be premature, there have been rumours that James is not in Benitez’s plans. At his first press conference, the Spaniard was non committal on the former Porto winger.

“We will try to find the best solution for us, for the club and for the player,” he said.

Whatever happens, the South American stressed he will always be honest about his intended movements.

Diego Simeone Atletico Madrid v Real Sociedad May 2021

“Yes I go to a club, I do not say it or give signals, I speak it when it is already a fact because in football anything can happen,” he added. “For the press and all those who put things, you have to get a little better information, I did not want to create controversy.”

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