Sources: James in talks to quit Everton for Qatar


James Rodriguez is discussing a move to Qatari club Al Rayyan after Everton gave the Colombia international permission to negotiate a move away from Goodison Park, sources have told ESPN.

The former Real Madrid and Bayern Munich midfielder has not appeared for Everton this season after being told he has no future at Goodison by manager Rafael Benitez.

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Sources have told ESPN that Everton are keen to seal a permanent deal for the 30-year-old in order to move his £10 million-a-year salary off the club’s wage bill, although a loan with an agreement to sign Rodriguez permanently is also a possibility.

Rodriguez has not played for Everton since the 1-0 defeat at home to Sheffield United in May and, although he made an impressive start to his time at the club with three goals in his first five games following his 2019 arrival from Madrid, injury and loss of form saw his contribution diminish markedly in the second half of the season.

Everton have the option of extending Rodriguez’s contract at the end of this season if he makes enough first-team appearances, but sources have said that both player and club now accept that a move is in the best interest of all involved.

With the Qatari transfer window open until Sept. 30, Rodriguez has flown to the Gulf state to discuss terms with Al Rayyan, although sources have stressed that no agreement has yet been reached.

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