James Rodriguez is officially no longer an Everton player after Qatari club Al Rayyan confirmed the signing of the Colombian star.
The 30-year-old has not featured at all for the Toffees this season, having expressed his desire to follow Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti out of the Goodison Park exit door. But he failed to land a move away within the European transfer window, forcing him to look elsewhere for an escape route.
And his Everton departure has now been confirmed, after Al Rayyan announced on Wednesday that they have signed Rodriguez, bringing an end to his one-year stay on Merseyside.
The Colombian international arrived at Everton in the summer of 2020 and enjoyed a lightning start to his career at Goodison Park. His impact on the team waned throughout the campaign however, and he suffered several injuries which left him out of contention.
Rodriguez was disappointed when coach Ancelotti, the man who brought him to the Premier League, left the Toffees to return to Real Madrid, and that proved decisive in the player's demands for a new challenge.
He angered the fanbase at the start of the season, admitting that he didn't even know who Everton were playing, prior to their trip to Elland Road to take on Leeds United on August 21. He was expected to leave the club throughout the summer transfer window, after Benitez stated that Rodriguez was only 'in his plans until August 31.'
The creative star failed to land a move to any European side however, despite rumours of interest from Italian giants Milan. He was also linked with a switch to Turkey, but he has ended up leaving Europe for Qatar.
Rodriguez flew out to Qatar on Sunday evening and Al Rayyan initially teased supporters of his arrival with a video saying, 'coming soon' and counting down to a silhouette.
Meanwhile, Everton will be delighted to have removed the superstar's £200,000-a-week salary from their wage bill, as they look to move forward under Benitez.