James Rodríguez's Former Club Reveal He Left Real Madrid on Free Transfer

Nischal Schwager-Patel
Sep 18, 2020, 7:56 PM GMT+1
Everton's new signing James Rodríguez.
Everton's new signing James Rodríguez. / Catherine Ivill/Getty Images

James Rodríguez's former club have confirmed that the Colombian signed for Everton from Real Madrid on a free transfer.

The 29-year-old joined the Toffees earlier this month in a deal initially reported to be worth around £12m, but Argentine club C.A. Banfield – for whom Rodríguez played in the early days of his career – have revealed that is not the case.

Rodríguez in action for Everton.
Rodríguez in action for Everton. / Catherine Ivill/Getty Images

In a statement on the club’s official website, Banfield treasurer Ignacio Uzquiza said: “Unfortunately, because of James Rodríguez's pass from Real Madrid to Everton to Banfield, no money is due. The transaction was made at no cost, as if it were a free player.

“In all cases they confirmed to us that the club will not receive money as a solidarity mechanism.”

Rodríguez played for Banfield from 2008 to 2010, joining as a teenager from Envigado in his native Colombia. He scored 10 goals in 50 appearances for the Buenos Aires club, winning the Primera División Apertura title in 2009.

Rodríguez playing for Banfield.
Rodríguez playing for Banfield. / MIGUEL ROJO/Getty Images

The club added: “Despite the journalistic versions that indicated that the pass had a cost, a situation in which Banfield was going to be benefited with a percentage of that sum for having contributed to the training of the player, this was not the case.”

Rodríguez joined the Toffees on an initial two-year deal with the option of a third season in 2022/23, and made his debut against Tottenham last Sunday, playing the full 90 minutes in a 1-0 win in north London.

Rodríguez left Real Madrid after six years in the Spanish capital, which included a two-year loan to German giants Bayern Munich. The Colombian made 125 appearances for Los Blancos, winning nine major trophies including two Champions Leagues and two La Liga titles.

Rodríguez with the La Liga trophy after winning it with Real Madrid.
Rodríguez with the La Liga trophy after winning it with Real Madrid. / Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

James has been reunited with Carlo Ancelotti, having worked together with the Italian at Real Madrid and Bayern. He is Ancelotti’s fourth summer signing, along with French youngster Niels Nkounkou, Napoli midfielder Allan and Watford’s Abdoulaye Doucouré.

Everton look to make it back to back league wins on Saturday, when they host newly promoted West Bromwich Albion at Goodison Park. The Toffees are eager to improve on their 12th-placed finish last season, pushing for a place in the top half of the table.

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