عالمية عالمية

Rafa Benitez has already told Everton what he thinks of James Rodriguez

Rafa Benitez potential move to Everton would reunite him with his former Real Madrid player.

The Spaniard became the favourite to fill the Everton boss vacancy last night, overtaking ex-Wolves manager Nuno Espirito Santo.

James Rodriguez played for the La Liga giants during Benitez’s tenure but their reunion may not be a happy one.

Benitez’s arrival at Goodison could spell trouble for the attacking midfielder as there were reports of friction between the two at Real Madrid.

The feud began in 2015 when Benitez asked the Colombian to end his holidays and join the team on their pre-season tour of Australia earlier than originally planned.

James refused to do so as he had just participated in the Copa America and instead joined the team in China.

Benitez then dropped the Colombian to the bench for Real’s La Liga opener against Sporting Gijon due to his fitness, fuelling rumours of a falling out.

The midfield dynamo reportedly grew “disillusioned” under the former Reds boss after continuously being dropped from the starting XI throughout the 2015/2016 season.

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But Benitez insisted that Rodriguez had his “full support and confidence” back in December 2015.

“There is no problem, he is a great player,” he said.

“The more he trains and plays the closer he will be to the James that we all know and love.

“The issue is clear. What I want is to see the best James in each match, scoring lots of goals.”

Carlo Ancelotti suddenly left the club earlier this month to take over as Real Madrid manager and many believed James could follow the Italian back to his old side.

Rodriguez has a history of working with the 62-year-old. The Colombian trained under Ancelotti during the manager’s first spell at the Santiago Bernabeu and the Italian then brought him to Bayern on loan.

The pair were briefly reunited at Everton but have been separated once again following Ancelotti’s departure.

However, the 29-year-old cast doubt on the rumours that Ancelotti would push Madrid to re-sign him.

During an Instagram live he said: “I don’t know [if I’ll go back to Madrid]. I don’t think so, we’re watching. If I stay another year at Everton, that’s fine.”

“I don’t think Ancelotti is going to take me. The cycle for me with Real Madrid is closed, I don’t think I’ll go there, but I’m still young.”

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