Darren Bent has been left stunned as Everton reportedly close in on the signing of Real Madrid attacker James Rodriguez.

The former Aston Villa and England striker, speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, insists the playmaker would be a “massive signing” for the Toffees.

As reported by talkSPORT, the Colombia international is set to have a medical on Merseyside next week as the Toffees close in on a season-long loan for the 29-year-old.

The former AS Monaco star, who has worked with Everton boss Carlo Ancelotti at both Real and Bayern Munich, has fallen out of favour under current manager Zinedine Zidane and played just 14 times last season.

Bent believes that Ancelotti is the driving force behind the deal and suggests Rodriguez would not be joining the Toffees if his former boss was not at the helm.

Bent told Football Insider: “It is a massive signing, it is a humongous signing. It goes two ways and I never, ever want to show disrespect to Everton but is he going to Everton because there’s nobody else, is that a reason?

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“Or has he got that relationship with Ancelotti, they were at Real Madrid, so obviously he must really, really like him and he must trust Ancelotti for him to go to a club like Everton.

“They’re not one of the biggest clubs in England, they’re not fighting for the title, they’re way off competing for any league honours.

Everton manager Carlo Ancelotti

“He’s been at Bayern, Real Madrid where these guys are competing for Bundesliga, La Liga titles and the Champions League. Now he’s going to a club that are challenging to get into the Europa League.

“It is a bit of a drop off but if Ancelotti can convince someone like him through the door, it is absolutely superb. I’ve always been a big, big fan of Ancelotti and this is the Ancelotti factor.” 

In other news, an Everton favourite has been backed to leave the club following a reported development.