James Rodriguez is set to parts ways from Rafa Benitez once more by leaving Everton in favour of a new challenge abroad.
It is clear that the two don't have the best of relationships after the pair didn’t see eye-to-eye during their time at Real Madrid in 2015.
Rodriguez was given limited opportunities under the Spanish coach and their volatile relationship created a back-and-forth war of words with the media.
Carlo Ancelotti was the very reason Rodriguez ended up on Merseyside and the Colombian made 23 Premier League appearances under the Italian boss last season, scoring six times in a campaign disrupted by injury.
But the departure of Ancelotti – and Benitez's incoming – was not the news the 30-year-old was hoping for.
Rodriguez was injured during Benitez's early days at the Bernabeu in 2016, and Benitez made him wait until November for his opportunity to shine.
Benitez once claimed Rodriguez 'lacked rhythm and form' as an excuse for why he wasn't playing.
Are Everton right to let Rodriguez go? Let us know in the comments section .
But Rodriguez then made his feelings known publicly after playing 90 minutes and scoring for Colombia just four days after the comments.
“I am ready for another 90 minutes, I am training well for Real Madrid, I am feeling fine. Keep saying that I am not well,” Rodriguez told reporters.
“There was one play in which I ran 45 metres very hard, and they say I am not in good form.”
In public, Benitez claimed that all was well, but soon after, his time at the Bernabeu came to an end when he was replaced by Zinedine Zidane.
Rodriguez has not played a single minute in the league under Benitez, and there is a good chance he'll never play for the club again.
And that's because the playmaker is reportedly in talks to join Qatari club Al Rayyan on a permanent deal.
The Colombia international currently earns around £200,000 a week and he has travelled to Qatar for talks over a possible deal.
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According to The Guardian , Benitez was informed by Rodriguez that he could have left the club in the summer should he wish, but moves to Porto and Istanbul Basaksehir fell through.
Rodriguez missed the beginning of the campaign after testing positive for COVID-19 but has been overlooked by the Spaniard since returning to the first-team set-up.
When asked why Rodriguez was absent for the matchday squad against Aston Villa, Benitez raised concerns about the players fitness.
“For this game, he was a little bit concerned about his muscle,” Benitez said.
“He was having a little problem and we decided we have to wait, so he was not available. That’s it.”
“We will see if he’s fit for the next game and then we will decide.”
However, the latest developments suggest he won't feature at all in the EFL Cup game against QPR on Tuesday.
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