Everton are set to use a trump card to beat Chelsea and Tottenham to the coup signing of a highly-rated attacker, according to reports.
The particular card of use in their pack is James Rodriguez. Since Carlo Ancelotti’s departure from the club the Colombian has found himself in limbo. He has grown distant from the Toffees, so much so that he doesn’t know who they’re playing week in week out.
Although he has been a massive source of frustration for Everton fans, he could now help to get them a big summer acquisition.
That’s because a deal with James’ former club Porto is being proposed that would see him return and one of their stars head to Goodison Park.
James has played for two giant European clubs in Real Madrid and Bayern Munich. But his first move from South America was to the Portuguese side in 2010.
Journalist Paul Joyce is claiming he could be back there on loan next season. In exchange, Everton will sign 24-year-old winger Luis Diaz.
Also Colombian, Diaz impressed at this summer’s Copa America. He finished as top scorer along with Lionel Messi.
His representatives were reportedly in talks with both Chelsea and Tottenham this week.
But Porto really James back, as per Fabrizio Romano. And his agent Jorge Mendes was supposedly in Portugal speaking to the club on Thursday.
This therefore puts Everton in pole position. Romano claims James will decide whether he wants the move soon, which will be a make or break decision.
Diaz has a release clause of £68m, but his price tag is much lower. It has been suggested with James in the deal, Everton will have to pay £21.5m.
That’s according to talkSPORT. They say if James says no, then a deal is off, which would put the London pair back in the picture.
Benitez gives little away on James
At his pre-match press conference today, Everton boss Rafael Benitez was asked about James and fellow fringe player Moise Kean.
He gave a very coy response to the question amid the speculation surrounding both.
He said: “We have some players that people know are good players and they are players people could be talking about.
“There are rumours but as coaches we have to concentrate on what we have. We have our players here, we have an important game against Brighton and we will try to do our best to be sure we are ready.”