Everton boss Carlo Ancelotti has laughed off reports claiming James Rodriguez wants to leave the club because he "feels unsettled in England". James made the switch to Merseyside last summer from Real Madrid, in a move that did not cost the Toffees a dime.
Since then, he has become an integral part of Ancelotti's team, scoring five goals and providing three assists in the Premier League until now. Recent reports claimed that the Columbian international wasn't happy at Everton and was "homesick".
But Ancelotti brushed off the rumours, and said: “Oh he's ok, he has no problem. I talk to him every day, he's happy here. He's confident, motivated. He had a little problem in the last few games with his calf, but now he's in a good condition.
"He really feels good here because everyone takes care of him and that's it. I don't know if he complains about the weather, but we know it's not the best weather ever! But there are a lot of things good in this area.”
James came off the bench during Everton's 3-1 defeat to Manchester City during the midweek, and Ancelotti admitted that his decision was purely precautionary. He added: "He had a knock [versus City] and he was not fit 100 per cent. No, he's not 100 per cent, but he's 99%.”
The Italian also admitted that this is the 'right time' to take on Liverpool at Anfield. Everton haven't beaten their rivals since 2010, and Ancelotti believes his side can inflict further pain on a side that's lost three of their last five league games.
He said: "Every derby you play for Everton against Liverpool, you want to win, of course. It is a long time that Everton was able to win a derby and it can be the right time tomorrow. It could be the right time, but it depends on what we are able to do on the pitch tomorrow, only this.
"I don't think we feel pressure (of not winning against Liverpool for so long). I think we are better (now) compared to the past, so I think we can have more opportunity to get a result."