James Rodriguez may consider cutting his Everton stay short after it was confirmed Carlo Ancelotti will return to their former employers, Real Madrid, this summer.
Ancelotti, 61, has developed a bond with the Colombian creator, whom he first signed at Real Madrid in 2014 before bringing his talents to Bayern Munich (on loan) and Everton.
Rodriguez, 29, was also linked with a reunion alongside the Italian while he was coach at Napoli, but a transfer to the Stadio Diego Armando Maradona never materialised.
Toffees fans clearly understand their playmaker’s predicament following Ancelotti’s decision to leave Goodison Park after 18 months.
One Twitter user accompanied several crying emojis with the message: “Ancelotti left James Rodriguez stranded in Bootle.”
Another pointed out Rodriguez wasn’t the only loyal subject who might feel duped after Allan left Napoli for Merseyside last summer: “Ancelotti really convinced and sold a project to Allan and Rodriguez just to ditch them a year later and strand them in Everton.”
The Toffees finished 10th in the Premier League and were knocked out in the quarter-finals of both the FA Cup and the League Cup this past season.
Despite scraping a top-half finish, Everton did amass their highest top-flight points tally since the 2016/17 season.
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It wasn’t lost on supporters that Ancelotti’s only full term at the club came at a time when crowds were banned due to the coronavirus pandemic: “Do you understand how Everton it is that we had Ancelotti and James Rodriguez for one full season and there were no fans allowed at the games?”
Plenty predicted Ancelotti’s move back to the Bernabeu could see Rodriguez rejoin himself, but that comeback is far less likely as the South American approaches his 30th birthday.
Ancelotti tweeted his gratitude to Everton and thanked “my players and the supporters for giving me the opportunity to manage this fantastic and historical club.”
However, some fans were reluctant to accept the gesture after their coach had previously suggested he was happy to continue as Toffees boss next season:
Acquiring a coach of Ancelotti’s pedigree was considered a major coup for Everton when he joined the club in December 2019, as well as a sign of the club’s improving prospects.
Those at Goodison will hope Rodriguez—who won two Champions League titles in six years at Real—can be convinced to remain at Everton even after Ancelotti’s return to Madrid.
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The midfielder’s contract on Merseyside isn’t due to expire until 2022, with the option of an additional year should the two parties agree.
Rodriguez scored six goals and recorded nine assists in 26 appearances across all competitions during his maiden campaign with Everton.
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