2014 World Cup Golden Boot winner links up with Everton boss Carlo Ancelotti for the third time
Everton have signed Colombia midfielder James Rodriguez for £22m from Real Madrid.
The 29-year-old has signed a two-year deal with an option for a third season in a move that sees him link up with Carlo Ancelotti for the third time, having played under him at Bayern Munich and Real.
Ancelotti signed James from Monaco as Real manager in 2014, but the former World Cup Golden Boot winner failed to truly establish himself in the Spanish capital, before going on a two-season loan to Bayern in 2017, by which point Ancelotti was in charge of the German side.
With one year remaining on his Real contract, James had been deemed surplus to requirements at the Bernabeu by Zinedine Zidane.
“I am really, really happy to be at this great club, a club with so much history, and here with a manager who knows me really well,” he said.
“I’m looking forward to achieving great things here – and winning things, which is what everyone’s aim is.
“I’ve come here to try to improve, to get better. I’ve also come here to help the team to win, to play good football – entertaining football.
“I’m convinced, with Carlo and his technical staff, we can achieve big things and one of the big reasons [I signed] was the presence of Carlo Ancelotti.
“I have enjoyed some great times with him previously at two different clubs. That was a massive reason to come here.”
James was named in the team of the tournament at last year’s Copa America, where Colombia reached the quarter-finals.
He has 76 international caps and 22 goals – in addition to 25 assists – following a debut against Bolivia in October 2011, netting his first strike the following June in a meeting with Peru.
Rodriguez becomes the second South American midfielder to join Everton during this transfer window after Brazilian Allan arrived from Napoli on a three-year contract.
South American football expert Tim Vickery:
“James has got a coach who knows him well and admires and respects him. It’s a good fit for the way Everton want to line up at the moment.
“You can imagine James in a wide midfield position in a 4-4-2 or in a deeper, central role, arriving as an element of surprise, and if I was Richarlison I’d be licking my lips at this.
“You can imagine James reproducing the relationship with Richarlison that he’s had with Radamel Falcao for the Colombia national team.”
Sky Sports’ Vinny O’Connor:
“The signing of James Rodriguez will accelerate Everton’s international growth plans – which were already focusing on South America and particularly North America.
“The club has already seen international growth in USA and South America through a combination of current and former player activity, official affiliated clubs membership and supporters’ club growth.
“James has a follower base approaching 100m and ranks as the eighth biggest social media star of any sportsperson on the planet.
“Everton are primed to try to capitalise on James’ signing with launch activity that will see outdoor media and activations in Bogota, Colombia and Miami, Florida, USA and enhanced distribution of the Club’s merchandise through the Fanatics partnership.”