Everton managed to win James’s race when they thwarted his two-season extra-year contract on 7 September after a £22 million deal with Real Madrid.

James wanted to join Atleti

James Rodriguez desired to join Atletico Madrid before completing the transfer to Everton, his stepfather claimed. Everton managed to win James’s race when they thwarted his two-season extra-year contract on 7 September after a £22 million deal with Real Madrid. The 29-year-old has also been linked to several other high-profile suitors. Also including the Blancos’ arch-rivals Atlético. But ultimately decided Goodison Park was the best place for him to open the next chapter of his career. Much of his final campaign at Madrid was spent on the bench following his return from a two-year loan deal with Bayern Munich. So James had no secret of his desire to move on in search of regular playing time on the pith.

James’ stepfather criticized Zinedine Zidane for failing the Colombians’ talents properly

Carlo Ancelotti, the manager who initially lured James to the Bernabeu from Monaco in 2014. He was vital in persuading the midfielder to join Toffees. Still, one of the ex-Madrid star’s closest family members says he missed the transfer, which he wanted most. James’ stepfather Juan Carlos Restrepo told reporters: “James would like to sign a contract with Atletico Madrid. It is a source of comfort that a club like Atletico was interested in him. Plus, there are fans, and he would feel right at home with them”. Restrepo then revealed that James is already happier in his new environment than he has been for the past few months at Madrid. He criticized former playmaker’s manager Zinedine Zidane. He had failed to use his talents properly.

Rodriguez feels very relaxed after signing with Everton

When asked if his stepson felt any sadness after leaving the Bernabeu, he replied: “He is now comfortable and calm on the field. They are past experiences. Now we are satisfied. If you see what minutes he had on the field, Zidane certainly did not take James into account. James feels very relaxed after signing with Everton”. James was impressed with his full-fledged debut for Everton in a 1-0 win at Tottenham in the new Premier League campaign’s opening weekend. He put on an even better show against West Bromwich at the Hawthorns on Saturday. Rodriguez netted his first goal for the club in a 5-2 victory for Ancelotti’s squad. And also recorded an assist to help Everton climb to the top of the early top flight in the standings.

He will be in line to play again when Everton host Fleetwood in the third round of the Carabao Cup on Wednesday. Before their attention turns to Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park three days later.