Player ‘turned down Everton exit’ in order to fight for Benitez’s trust

James Rodriguez Everton

A journalist has revealed that Everton star James Rodriguez rejected a move to Turkey in order to fight for his place under Rafa Benitez.

The Colombia international, 30, originally joined Everton on a free transfer from Real Madrid in September last year. He followed Carlo Ancelotti to the Premier League. However, after the Italian’s departure in June, Rodriguez started to be linked with a move abroad.

One potential destination was Portuguese outfit Porto, whom he represented between 2010 and 2013. They ultimately decided to pursue other transfer targets this summer, possibly due to the playmaker’s large wage demands.

The next club to be linked was Turkish side Istanbul Basaksehir. Their transfer window meant they had an extra few days to get a move sorted when compared with other European clubs.

On Sunday afternoon, reports emerged stating that Basaksehir had offered Rodriguez a route out of Goodison Park. They supposedly launched a season-long loan bid.

But Turkish reporter Ahmet Bulut has now spoken about why a switch never materialised. The journalist told Turkish outlet Fotomac (via Sport Witness): “There was a chance that James would come to Basaksehir.

“The president has agreed. But I don’t think the footballer had the intention of going. He’d have arrived on loan, but he didn’t transfer because he thought he might get a chance in England.”

It remains to be seen whether the attacking midfielder has any place in Benitez’s squad. The manager tends to operate with a strict 4-4-2 formation, leaving no room for a roaming player such as Rodriguez.


Former Toffees boss Sam Allardyce recently gave his take on the situation.

“He wouldn’t be a Rafa-type player. Rodriguez is instinctive, he wants freedom, he doesn’t want to be restricted and he doesn’t want the handcuffs on,” Allardyce told talkSPORT.

“He’s just not a Rafa type of player, that’s where the conflicts lie. [He] loves Carlo [Ancelotti]. He would follow Carlo across the world. He must have been hoping that Carlo tried to take him back to Real Madrid. But that hasn’t happened.

“It’s a big problem with Rafa and their outlay, and a big problem for him.”

Rodriguez is yet to feature for Everton so far this term. He could make his first appearance in their home game against Burnley on Monday.

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Everton sanction discount on Bernard

A report has claimed that Everton lost out on £8million when selling Bernard to UAE side Sharjah FC.

The Brazilian winger moved to the Middle East for £1m after falling out of favour on Merseyside. He has signed a two-year deal with Sharjah.

According to Football Insider, the Toffees could have sold him for £9m when Sharjah’s rivals Al-Nasr came calling.

But a transfer fell through, and Everton had to lower their price as time went on. The sale still represents a profit, however, as Everton signed him for free back in August 2018.

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