Hutton: Rodriguez tipped to quit Everton after Benitez reveal
Alan Hutton has claimed James Rodriguez may look to leave Everton after Rafa Benitez was appointed as the new manager.
Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the ex-Tottenham and Rangers defender suggested the Colombian may not fit into Benitez’s style of play.
Football Insider learned on 16 June the Blues were ready to appoint the Spaniard as Carlo Ancelotti’s successor.
The club then confirmed Benitez’s appointment on 30 June.
Ancelotti played a key role in bringing Rodriguez to Goodison Park and Marca reported last summer he took a pay cut to £77,000-a-week to complete the move.
The two worked together at Real Madrid but Rodriguez had a considerably worse relationship with Benitez in the Spanish capital.
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There was a public spat between the two over Rodrigez’s fitness.
“With Ancelotti coming in he had that pull for that sort of player,” Hutton told Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge.
“He’s worked with him before so he made him feel at home. ‘Come work with me, I’ll let you play with freedom.’
“But Rafa is more defensively minded. He’ll look to have a strong set up and play on the counterattack.
“If he doesn’t fit in, where does he go after that? All of sudden he’s on the bench for Everton and it doesn’t look so rosy.
“It wouldn’t really surprise me if he’s looking for a way out. Maybe back to Europe.”
Rodriguez enjoyed a fine start to life in Merseyside last season with three goals and three assists in his first six Premier League games.
The 29-year-old faded away at the end of the season and featured in just one of their final league fixtures.