Carlo Ancelotti’s departure from Everton has raised some questions over the future of James Rodriguez.
It’s clear that Rodriguez wouldn’t have joined Everton without the Italian’s influence.
But he said on Instagram Live that he doesn’t expect to link up with Ancelotti again this summer.
‘I don’t know (if I’ll go back to Madrid),” said James. “I don’t think so. 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.”
James a conundrum for new manager
Rodriguez poses an interesting dilemma for the new Everton manager, whoever he proves to be.
Even Ancelotti couldn’t get him fit on a consistent basis for much of last season.
And while he started him on the right hand side of midfield, he quickly needed to change tack as the campaign wore on.
Rodriguez remains a mercurial talent, but there are question marks over his best position, fitness and now commitment given Ancelotti’s departure.
How does the new manager deal with this? Can Rodriguez be built around or will his influence be sporadic?
Time will tell, but it would be a shame if Everton lost Rodriguez before he’d had a chance to play in front of a full Goodison Park.