James Rodriguez is headed to the Middle East…
The 30-year-old Colombian professional footballer and Everton midfielder has joined Qatari side Al Rayyan for an undisclosed fee, both clubs have confirmed.
Sources previously told ESPN that Rodriguez was discussing a move with the Qatari club after Everton gave him permission to leave Goodison Park. He was told by manager Rafa Benitez, who replaced Carlo Ancelotti this summer, that he was not in his plans.
The midfielder made an impressive start after he joined from Real Madrid in September 2020, scoring three goals in his first five games, but injury and loss of form saw his contribution diminish markedly in the second half of the season.
He made a total of 26 appearances in all competitions during his time at the club.
Rodriguez began his career at Colombian side Enviagado and later Argentine side Banfield before enjoying spells at FC Porto, AS Monaco, Madrid and Bayern Munich.
He said in April that he only joined Everton so he could be reunited with Ancelotti, who had signed him for Madrid in 2014 and Bayern in 2017.
Everton had the option of extending his contract at the end of the season if he were to make enough first team appearances, but sources told ESPN that the club were keen to move his £10 million-a-year salary off the club’s wage bill.
His last appearance for the Premier League side came in a 1-0 defeat at home to Sheffield United in May.
Rodriguez has 80 international caps for Colombia, scoring 23 goals, and played in two World Cup tournaments, notably winning the Golden Boot at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.