Reports in Colombia claim Al-Rayyan did not have to pay a transfer fee to sign James Rodriguez as Everton were just happy to get his wage packet off their books.
James, 30, spent just one season at Goodison Park after arriving on a free transfer in September 2020. The Colombia international had fallen out of contract at Real Madrid and was lured to Merseyside by then manager Carlo Ancelotti. He struggled with injuries during 2020-2021, making 21 starts among 23 Premier League appearances.
The former Monaco man bagged six goals and contributed nine assists from 26 outings in all competitions. However, rumours continued that he was unhappy at the club and was looking for a way out.
Ancelotti’s defection back to Real seemed the perfect opportunity for the South American to engineer an exit. And he joined the Qatari outfit on September 21.
Details of the move remain sketchy, with the official line being an ‘undisclosed fee’. But it seems as though the talented winger might have left for free despite being under contract for another season.
He inked a two-year deal when moving to Everton from the Bernabeu. Therefore the Toffees were entitled to a transfer fee.
However, journalist Pipe Sierra has revealed on Twitter (via Sport Witness) the true nature of the deal. And it seems as though no cash changed hands for the move to the Middle East.
That means James has been released by his last two clubs – not a statistic many players would be proud of.
Writing on the wall for James Everton future
Rafael Benitez replaced Ancelotti at the Goodison helm and it soon became apparent that he did not see James in his side. The former Porto ace did not kick a ball in anger this term before joining Laurent Blanc at Ahmed bin Ali Stadium.
The forward reportedly picked up £200,000-per-week with the Blues. They will be pleased to get that sum off the wage bill and channelled into targeting new players.
James has yet to make his debut for the Lions as he is still short of match fitness. And the man with 80 Colombia caps was also left out of his national side for upcoming World Cup qualifies.
It has been a strange few years in his career, with a two-year loan spell at Bayern Munich while on Real’s books. He struggled to make too much of an impact with Los Blancos or in Germany.
The switch to Everton was supposed to be a way of reviving his career but circumstances mean he now has to start all over again.