James Rodriguez set to leave Everton for lucrative move to Qatar

    James Rodriguez has cut short his uninspiring Premier League experienced at Everton to link up with Qatari side Al Rayyan.

    According to ESPN, James Rodriguez severed ties with Everton to sign for Al Rayyan on Wednesday after falling down the pecking order at Goodison Park.

    The Colombia international joined the Toffees from Real Madrid in summer 2020 as former manager Carlo Ancelotti insisted on bringing in his protege.

    Despite suffering several physical setbacks throughout his maiden campaign in Merseyside, the 30-year-old playmaker racked up a respectable six goals and nine assists across all competitions in 2020/21.

    However, Rodriguez, whose contract in England was due to expire at the end of the season, has seen his first-team prospects at Everton take a U-turn on the back of Rafael Benitez’s arrival at the helm.

    The opinion-dividing manager replaced Ancelotti in the dugout after the latter decided to call time on his Premier League career to reunite with Real Madrid in the summer.

    Benitez has made it abundantly clear that he is not planning to utilize Rodriguez upon his appointment, effectively freezing the ex-Monaco midfielder out of the team.

    Indeed, the left-footed star has failed to make a single minute of first-team action under the Spaniard this season.

    Rodriguez’s situation at Everton seems to have been complicated even before Benitez’s arrival, with the club putting in the utmost effort to offload the Colombian in the summer.

    Well aware that they can ill-afford to retain a £10m-a-year benchwarmer on the books, the Toffees were actively searching for suitors in the summer.

    Although AC Milan and Sevilla were touted for a move for Rodriguez, neither side made an official approach in the recently concluded transfer window.

    It looks like Everton have eventually managed to offload their misfit, who is now set to embark on his first non-European season in over a decade.

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