By Noel Whelan

29th Sep, 2021 | 8:00pm

'Door open' for Everton to sign 'magic' Spain star after Rodriguez exit - Whelan

Noel Whelan has claimed Everton should replace the departed James Rodriguez with “magic” Real Madrid midfielder Isco.

The former Leeds striker, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, insisted the Spanish star, 29, would have to buy into Rafa Benitez’s philosophy at Goodison Park.

As reported by Spanish outlet Defensa Central, who specialise in Real Madrid news, Everton have set sights on signing Los Blancos duo Isco and Luka Jovic on loan in January.

The Spain international’s contract at the Bernabeu expires next summer.

As such, Everton could approach the 29-year-old over a pre-contract agreement in January.

Isco has featured sparingly under former Everton boss Carlo Ancelotti for Los Blancos this season, playing just 166 minutes in all competitions.

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Whelan believes the midfielder would provide much-needed flair following the out-of-window departure of Rodriguez last week.

“Everton do seem to have a hard-working ethos, but you need flair players in your side to produce those moments of magic,” he told Football Insider‘s Ewan Kingsbury.

“However, he’d have to buy into the philosophy that Rafa Benitez has brought to Everton.

“I think Rodriguez leaving opens the door for someone like Isco to come in, with the wages he was on.

“They did very well to get him off the books.

“Isco’s been looked at not just by Everton but by Liverpool as well.

“They need to add another player with that creativity and forward-thinking mentality with Rodriguez gone.

Rodriguez joined Qatari club Al-Rayyan last week following a mixed spell on Merseyside.

Isco has scored 52 goals in 342 appearances for Real Madrid since joining from Malaga in 2013.

Everton have enjoyed a brilliant start to the Premier League campaign, sitting fifth after six games played despite limited summer outlay.

In other news, Toffees midfielder could be heading for Premier League switch.