Everton ‘working on new contract for James Rodriguez until 2023’ with boss Carlo Ancelotti convinced Colombian playmaker is the key piece to their Champions League aspirations
- James Rodriguez has impressed in his first season since joining Everton
- Reports in Spain suggest the Merseyside club want to extend his contract
- Boss Carlo Ancelotti feels Rodriguez is key to their Champions League hopes
Everton are reportedly working on a contract extension for playmaker James Rodriguez as they look to keep hold of the Colombian following an impressive first campaign.
Having arrived on a free for Real Madrid, Rodriguez has shown no signs of rust and has been a hit at Goodison Park.
According to Spanish outlet Marca the plan is to tie Rodriguez to a new one-year deal with boss Carlo Ancelotti said to be convinced that the Colombian is the key to Everton earning a Champions League spot.
Everton are reportedly looking to agree a contract extension with playmaker James Rodriguez
The 29-year-old is one of a handful of players that is preparing to enter the final 12 months of their existing contract.
Gylfi Sigurdsson, Bernard, Seamus Coleman, Jonjoe Kenny, Fabian Delph and Cenk Tosun are the others finding themselves out of contract in 2022.
Both Sigurdsson and Coleman are said to be ‘advanced’ in their negotiations with the duo, like Rodriguez, part of Ancelotti’s plans moving forward.
Manager Carlo Ancelotti is believed to see Rodriguez as key to their Champions League hopes
Injuries have impacted Rodriguez this season but he has still managed to produce six goals and nine assists in 25 appearances.
Securing Champions League football is seen as Ancelotti’s ‘great obsession’ and while they have an outside shot at the top four this season – they are six points off Chelsea in fourth having played one game less – it is felt keeping hold of Rodriguez is of vital importance for future cracks at Europe.
Rodriguez is believed to be seeking assurances that Everton can build a strong enough team around him to challenge their European rivals and that onus falls on Ancelotti.
The Colombian credited Ancelotti as the main factor he made the decision to join Everton, having previously been pushing to join Atletico Madrid.
Rodriguez sees Ancelotti (right) as a father figure after working together at Real Madrid
Speaking of Ancelotti, who coached him at Bayern Munich and Real Madrid, Rodriguez told Everton’s website last month: ‘I’m with a manager who knows exactly what I’m like. I get on fantastically well with him, just like a father and son.
‘Many of my hopes and dreams have come to fruition, but when you fulfil your dreams, you want to achieve even more, so here we are, now, taking things step by step.
‘Firstly, we need to be fighting it out around the top of the league. The past two games haven’t been as good as we would have liked but that’s the Premier League.’