According to James Rodríguez’s former club Banfield, there was ‘no cost’ involved in the player’s move from Real Madrid to Everton.
The BBC reported that the fee for the Colombian superstar was £12 million.
However, Banfield’s club treasurer Ignacio Uzquiza said otherwise in a statement which was tweeted on Thursday, with the link embedded.
‘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.’
Even a sum of £12 million would have been a steal for the 2014 World Cup Golden Boot winner, who Uruguay boss Óscar Tabárez likened to Diego Maradona after his Puskas-worthy strike against them at that tournament.
As quoted by ESPN, he said: ‘Those who do things which have nothing to do with life experience, Maradona, [Lionel] Messi, [Luis] Suarez, they do things because they have certain gifts that make them special. He’s the best player in the World Cup.’
Rodriguez reportedly cost Real Madrid a whopping £71 million following the 2014 World Cup, which made him the fourth most expensive player in history at the time.
So, for Everton and Carlo Ancelotti to secure his signature for less than a penny is quite remarkable, even if we are six years on from that tournament.
The 29-year-old has already shown his star quality in just one game.
He registered a game-high five key passes on his Premier League debut against Tottenham. In doing so, he became the first debutant in the division since Alexis Sanchez to create at least five chances according to Opta.
There is simply no doubting his talent, and also his marketability.
In the modern game, that sort of thing is massive and, in Rodriguez, Everton have arguably one of the most popular footballers on Earth.
At the time of writing, he has 46.2 million Instagram followers and 18.7 million Twitter followers.
For Everton to have landed him for ‘no cost’ is unbelievable.
The Toffees will presumably make a fortune out of shirt sales and promotional efforts in Colombia alone.
Marcel Brands has played an absolute blinder here for the Merseysiders.