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James: "It was nearly a done deal to go to Atletico”

Fri 02 April 2021 | 13:39

James Rodriguez reveals his conversation with Simeone before joining Everton.


Colombian star has revealed that he almost joined

Atletico Madrid

before his transfer to Everton.

The 29-year-old moved to Ancelotti’s side as a free agent after his bad end at Real Madrid, where he was on the bench almost all the time.


says that he talked about his situation with Diego Simeone, and everything was going on the right path until Real Madrid stepped in and blocked the transfer.

"It was nearly a done deal to go to Atletico, I spoke with Simeone, he said I could be important, and [Real] didn't let me go,”

the 29-year-old told



“[Real president] Florentino Perez knew that with Zidane that I wouldn't play much. It was a bad year, I wanted to come to Everton to play and show what I can do.”

Eventually, the Colombia international decided to join his old manager Carlo Ancelotti at Everton, which surprised many pundits considering Everton’s situation in the Premier League; but his impressive performance for the Toffees scoring four goals and assisting four in 18 games, has shown that maybe it hasn’t been such a bad idea.

"I'll say it with all sincerity that if Carlo weren't here, I wouldn't have come.”

he added.

"I [have] started to get to know the club, how they work, how they want to work, win things, play in Europe. The fact that Carlo is here was fundamental to me coming, where I am learning every day."

source: SportMob