James Rodríguez has confessed that he does not know who Everton are playing this weekend as he edges towards the exit at Goodison Park.
The Colombia international has been told he can leave Everton this summer with the club looking to remove his lucrative contract from their wage bill and free up space for new signings. Atlético Madrid is a possible destination for the former Real Madrid playmaker.
Rodríguez missed his team's opening Premier League win against Southampton due to coronavirus issues and will remain in isolation for Saturday's trip to Leeds. But, on his Twitch stream, the 30-year-old revealed he was unsure who his team-mates were facing.
“I will start training on Monday, I think,” said Rodríguez, who is yet to play in front of Everton fans. “On the weekend I will not play, I don’t even know who Everton is playing, can you please tell me? I think it is away because the past was here at home.” Shortly afterwards, he added: “Ah, against Leeds they play, away from home, against [Marcelo] Bielsa, a difficult game, let’s see what happens, hopefully they win.”
Rafael Benítez, the new Everton manager, gave a pointed response when asked whether the midfielder remained in his plans for the season. “Until August 31st yes he is in my plans,” he replied.
Everton have signed veteran goalkeeper Andy Lonergan on a short-term contract after 19-year-old Harry Tyrer suffered an injury in training earlier this week. The 37-year-old Lonergan has spent recent seasons as cover at Middlesbrough, Liverpool, Stoke and West Bromwich Albion without making a league appearance. – Guardian