James Rodriguez was handed a historic £250,000-per-week contract when he joined Everton, Football Insider has revealed.
The Colombian left Real Madrid to join Everton on a free transfer ahead of the 2020/21 season and it was Carlo Ancelotti who brought him to Merseyside as part of his efforts to lead the Toffees into Europe.
However, the Italian suddenly returned to Los Blancos at the end of the campaign and his successor Rafael Benitez has deemed James surplus to requirements at Goodison Park.
Everton tried to offload the 30-year-old to FC Porto late in the transfer window, hoping to lure Luis Diaz the other way, but James’ wages made the move ‘very difficult’ (via Carlos Aleman).
Sporting director Marcel Brands agreed to make him the highest-paid player in Everton’s history and that proved to be the stumbling block in their attempts to offload him as the Blues tried to replace him with players ‘more suited’ to Benitez’s style.
James’ return of six goals and four assists from 21 starts in last season’s Premier League was reasonably good, but there’s ever more reason to question the wisdom of the move.
With that salary, there was always a risk that Everton would find their hands tied if their gamble didn’t work out.
Some will argue that James ought to be reintegrated into the team so that the club get some value for those £1m monthly payments, but it’s hard to see any way back for him given that he hasn’t even made a matchday squad so far under Benitez.
In other news, Everton are set to revisit this move in January.
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