Everton manager Rafa Benitez has told James Rodriguez he will not be counting on him this season, forcing the midfielder to look for a new club this summer.

That’s according to well connected journalist Edu Aguirre, who says the Colombian has been left saddened by the situation at Goodison Park.

Rodriguez arrived on Merseyside on a free transfer from Real Madrid last summer and, despite injury problems limiting him for much of the campaign, proved to be a big hit under Carlo Ancelotti.

The Italian’s sudden departure to the Bernabeu earlier this year left the midfielder’s future in doubt, though, with many feeling that he was only at Everton because of Ancelotti’s presence there.

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There have been numerous reports in the last few months that he is now looking for a move elsewhere, and his agent Jorge Mendes is trying to work something out.

There have also been claims that he is not wanted by Everton anyway, particularly new manager Benitez, who had something of a public falling out with Rodriguez when the pair were at Real Madrid.

Aguirre now says that is very much the case, but it is Everton, not Rodriguez, who are pushing for a transfer to happen.

“On the first day of Everton’s pre-season, Rafa Benitez, Everton’s new coach, has a meeting with James Rodriguez,” he told El Chiringuito.

“In the meeting, he tells him the following ‘James, I am not counting on you, with me, you are not going to play’. So, James is looking for a way out of Everton.

“He would love to be at Everton and likes the English league, but if he is not going to play, he needs to look for a way out because he is 30-years-old, still feels young and wants to play.

“It is true that James is a bit sad and a bit disappointed with both the club and Benitez. There is a deep sadness there.

“He feels he is not being treated well and has given everything for Everton, but messages are now being leaked to make him throw in the towel.

“He has one year left on his contract, which finishes in 2022, and earns around €6m a year, and the feeling is that people are getting on his back and leaking fake news so that James leaves Everton.

“From now on, we will see what will happen because it’s true James has a high salary, but there are formulas for that.”