Everton manager Carlo Ancelotti has admitted that he is an admirer of Real Madrid playmaker James Rodriguez, amid rumours linking the Colombian international with a move to Goodison Park.
Rodriguez has only featured eight times in La Liga this season after an injury ravaged campaign, and has played just once since the Spanish top flight restarted in June.
Everton were recently reported to be one of four Premier League sides in the race to land the 28-year-old for a cut price fee this summer as Carlo Ancelotti prepares for his first full season in charge at Goodison.
Ancelotti was the man who brought Rodriguez to Real back in 2014, before the playmaker joined him at Bayern Munich in 2017.
“James Rodríguez? I like him a lot as a player," Ancelotti said [via the Guardian]. "When I left Madrid, James Rodríguez followed me to Munich. But he followed me as a rumour to Napoli and now he is following me to Everton as a rumour.
"I have to be honest – I like him a lot. But he is a Real Madrid player and I think he will still be a Real Madrid player.”
Everton have already agreed wage deferrals with players and staff due to the financial implications of the coronavirus outbreak, but Ancelotti insists he will be given funds to strengthen his side ahead of next season.
“I have assurances from the board that we are going to improve the squad,” the Toffees manager added. "We need good players and the players that we are going to sign will be good players.
“It doesn’t matter whether they are young or old; with experience or without experience. It is important to have good players."