Former Newcastle United star Faustino Asprilla revealed on Tuesday that an agent informed him James Rodríguez was offered to many Italian clubs, but decided against signing the Everton player due to his off-field issues.

AC Milan were given an opportunity to take the attacking midfielder. His agent, Jorge Mendes, who also manages Rafael Leão, had the idea of carrying out a swap deal in the summer involving the duo.

No deal materialised and the Colombian is still with the Toffees, while the Serie A side have retained the forward.

The 22-year-old has made three appearances for the Rossoneri and Stefano Pioli believes he can be a ‘real weapon’ in the Champions League clash against Liverpool later today.

That’s according to Calciomercato, who provide a background of Everton’s failed attempt to sign the former Sporting man.

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Milan believe in the Portuguese attacker’s talent and were ‘able to resist temptation’ to sell him in the last window.

Rafael Benítez’s side were among the four clubs to have come forward in signing Leão, and Everton had ‘requested direct information’ from Mendes and Milan chiefs, Paolo Maldini and Frederic Massara.

Milan, however, ‘refused offers’ from four clubs, including one from the Premier League side.