Everton are interested in signing James Rodríguez from Real Madrid this summer but are not willing to match the Spanish giants asking price for the midfielder, according to claims from Spain.
Rodriguez returned to the Bernabeu last summer after a loan spell at Bayern Munich but has once again found himself out of favour under Zinedine Zidane.
He’s managed just 13 appearances in all competitions to date, starting just four league games all season, with his last appearance in La Liga coming in October.
That is not ideal for the 28-year-old and, according to Defensa Central, he wants to leave the club as a result of his ‘increasingly delicate’ situation.
Everton are one of the clubs interested in his signature, with the website stating that they will ‘fight’ with Wolves for his signature in the summer.
Neither club are willing to pay Real Madrid’s €50m asking price, though, with them instead only willing to pay ‘at most’ €15-20m for him. That price would allow them to pay Rodríguez similar wages to what he earns at the Bernabeu, although what that figure is, isn’t stated.
There is likely to be little competition for the player, with it stated ‘other major European clubs’ have turned down the chance to sign Rodríguez as they don’t think he’s at the same level he was in the past.
The player, for his part, is keen to get out and his ‘entourage’ have told Jorge Mendes to ‘prepare the machinery’ for a move.
He’s not fussed about where he goes, and does not care if the team isn’t playing in the Champions League, he wants to find somewhere he can enjoy his football again.
That is undoubtedly a boost to Everton’s hopes of landing the midfielder given it’s extremely unlikely they will be able to offer Champions League football next season.
Real Madrid will also not stand in the way, with it explained they want to make space in their squad for a midfielder this summer.
Whether Everton are genuinely interested in Rodríguez is debatable though. While the current squad does need a creative midfielder and Carlo Ancelotti is a known fan, having signed him at Madrid and Bayern Munich and wanting him at Napoli, Rodríguez doesn’t fit into the strategy.
Primarily, it’s hard to see where he would fit in the 4-4-2 that Ancelotti is playing at Goodison Park. At the same time, the Italian manager and Marcel Brands have made it clear they are targeting younger players they can develop rather than established stars.
Both of those points make it hard to see Rodriguez being a target but, if they were able to get him for a fee around €20m, they may consider it too good an opportunity to pass up for a player who would be a significant upgrade on their current options.