Benitez mind made up as high-profile Everton star learns transfer fate

Seamus Coleman, James Rodriguez, Richarlison, Everton TEAMtalk

James Rodriguez has been told he can leave Everton because he is not part of Rafael Benitez’s plans, according to a report.

Benitez was recently appointed as the successor to Carlo Ancelotti in the Goodison Park dugout. The Italian had been to thank for luring Rodriguez to the club in the first place last summer. When he returned to Real Madrid, though, it threw the playmaker’s future into doubt too.

Rodriguez has previously played for Ancelotti at Real and Bayern Munich as well. There was speculation he could return to the Spanish capital again, but he has ruled that out.

Even so, he has admitted that he does not know where he will be playing next season. His contract at Everton lasts for one more year, but he has already been looking for new clubs.

Reports suggested he did not want to work under ex-Madrid coach Benitez again, so would be looking to leave. It now appears the feeling is mutual, as Rodriguez has been informed that Benitez has no place in his plans for him.

That’s according to the Daily Mail, who claim Rodriguez’s most likely next destination would be AC Milan. The Italian side lost Hakan Calhanoglu on a free transfer to rivals Inter and need to find a new attacking midfielder.

There would be doubts over their ability to afford his £220,000-per-week wages, but he will be considering all his options.

James Rodriguez Everton v Fulham

Another suitor is Porto, who originally brought the South American to Europe in 2010. Rodriguez spent three seasons in Portugal, scoring 32 goals from 107 games, before moving to Monaco and going on to become the star of the 2014 World Cup.

His star has faded somewhat since then, but he still managed six goals and four assists from 23 games in his debut Premier League season. Even so, Everton could benefit from getting his wages off the books. Furthermore, they may be looking for someone more reliable in terms of availability.

Agent Jorge Mendes has also offered the 30-year-old to La Liga champions Atletico Madrid and Serie A side Napoli.

James Rodriguez wants to be wanted

Discussing his future on a Twitch stream recently, Rodriguez said: “I don’t know what’s going to happen.

“I don’t know, I don’t know where I’m going to play. 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.”

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