James Rodriguez has joined Everton on a free transfer from Real Madrid, as reported by football director Marcel Brands.
Last summer, the Colombia international midfielder was the headline signing for the Toffees, ending his relatively disappointing Santiago Bernabeu tenure and heading to Goodison Park for the team of Carlo Ancelotti in an eye-catching contract.
It was widely speculated at the time that Everton had to fork out a large transfer fee for James, but Brands clarified subsequent reports that they did not have to pay a penny to Real in presenting its annual presentation at the general meeting of the shareholders on Thursday night.
It was one of the most difficult and strangest transfer windows ever,” Brands said. “In this transfer window, the pandemic was clearly involved.
We finished the window with 27 players in the squad – a bit more than we had originally planned.
“Six new players have been signed by us. Three to move permanently; Allan, Doucoure, and Ben Godfrey. James Rodriguez, One on a Free. One with compensation for preparation – Niels Nkounkou – and one loan without a loan charge, Robin Olsen.
When completely fit for Everton under Ancelotti, James was a central figure, scoring three goals in 14 games in all competitions.
He was previously one of the most expensive players in the world, joining Real Madrid in 2014 for £ 67.5 million from Monaco following his star turn for Colombia at the World Cup in Brazil that summer.