James Rodriguez could finally depart Everton as he jets out to negotiate with club - reports

The Colombian hasn’t played for the Toffees this season and missed Saturday’s loss to Aston Villa.

James Rodriguez has been given the green light to leave Everton.

The playmaker could finally depart Goodison Park following a protracted transfer saga.

Where could he be heading?

According to various reports, it is Qatari side Al-Rayyan where the ex-Real Madrid star might be heading.

It is claimed that Rodriguez has flown out to the Middle East and he is assessing the deal on the table.

Villa absence

Rodriguez was not present for Everton's 3-0 loss at Aston Villa on Saturday - their first defeat in the 2021-22 Premier League campaign.

Despite being short of attacking options with Richarlison and Dominic Calvert-Lewin injured, the ex-Bayern Munich attacking midfielder was not present.

After the final whistle, Rafa Benitez said it was because Rodriguez was concerned about a muscle injury - despite training ahead of the encounter.

He has not been involved in a game this season.

Why are Everton willing to let Rodriguez leave?

The Colombia international was signed by Carlo Ancelotti in September 2020 and recorded six goals and nine assists in his maiden campaign on Merseyside.

But after Rafa Benitez took the Everton helm in June, Rodriguez was quickly deemed surplus to requirements.

The Spaniard had concerns over whether the two-time Champions League winner could meet his intense demands and if the Toffees have been getting full value for money for his supposed £200,000 per week wages.

Who else have been interested?

Everton have been keen to offload Rodriguez and get him off the wage bill to help with financial fair play restrictions.

They explored the option of using him as a makeweight to sign Porto winger Luis Diaz towards the end of the summer transfer window.

Turkish side Istanbul Basaksehir were also interested but Rodriguez snubbed the move.