(REUTERS) – Everton have signed midfielder James Rodriguez from La Liga champions Real Madrid on a two-year contract, the Premier League club said on Monday (Sept 7), as the Colombian bids to revive his career in England.
Financial details of the deal were not disclosed but British media reported that Everton paid around £20 million (S$35.92 million) for the 29-year-old who had a year left on his contract with the Spanish side.
“I’m really, really happy to be at this great club, a club with so much history, and here with a manager who knows me really well,” James told the club’s website.
“I’m looking forward to achieving great things here – and winning things, which is what everyone’s aim is. I’ve come here to try to improve, to get better. I’ve also come here to help the team to win, to play good football – entertaining football.”
He scored 37 goals and provided 42 assists across two spells at Real Madrid after joining the Spanish side on the back of stellar performances at the 2014 World Cup – where he won the Golden Boot with six goals.
However, he struggled to live up to his €80 million (S$129.26 million) price tag and failed to nail down a regular spot in the starting line-up at the Bernabeu.
He was loaned out to Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich in 2017 for two seasons.
Rodriguez returned for a second spell at Real in July last year but the Colombian found himself on the fringes of the first team yet again, starting only five league games under Zinedine Zidane.
At Everton, Rodriguez will be reunited with manager Carlo Ancelotti having previously played and thrived under the Italian at Real.
“James… is a fantastic player with a lot of quality and a lot of ability to make assists for the strikers,” Ancelotti said.
“He was really excited to sign and I didn’t spend time to convince him – he was already convinced.”
Rodriguez is Everton’s second major signing in the close-season following the arrival of Brazilian midfielder Allan from Napoli.
Everton finished 12th last term and begin their new Premier League campaign with a trip to Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday.