Rafa Benitez hints James Rodriguez may have to be SOLD just 12 months on from his move from Real Madrid to fund Everton signings as the new boss admits he needs to find ‘solutions’ for high-earners who aren’t in his plans
- Rafa Benitez admitted he is aware of Everton’s need to sell players this summer
- James Rodriguez is one high-earner who may leave despite only joining last year
- Benitez refused to be drawn into his future but hinted he could be offloaded
- Midfielder Fabian Delph is another player who may be sold to raise transfer funds
Rafa Benitez insists he does not fear the pressure that will be heaped on him to revive Everton’s fortunes – and admits he needs to find a ‘solution’ for James Rodriguez’s future so he can have money to spend on new players.
The appointment of the former Liverpool boss has split opinion among Evertonians but Benitez has not been flustered by any of the furore and has mapped out his ambition to be the man who leads the club into their new stadium at Bramley Dock in 2024.
‘I like this challenge,’ said the Spaniard. ‘I’m not afraid of anyone. I hope our team is not afraid of anyone.
James Rodriguez is facing an uncertain future at Everton and could leave this summer
‘It is really important to compete and train every day and to do much better than the day before. That is the way to create this winning mentality.
‘It’s not something that I am scared of — it is the opposite. I will fight for Everton. I will do my best for everyone.’
Everton have invested more than £400million in their squad since 2016 and while Benitez will be backed in the transfer market, he is aware of the need to sell.
James Rodriguez and Fabian Delph are two players who are vulnerable.
Rafa Benitez admitted he needs to ‘find solutions’ for high earners not justifying their wages
Benitez twice refused to go into specifics about Rodriguez, who has not hit the heights anticipated following his arrival from Real Madrid 12 months ago, but said: ‘Everybody knows that this club has spent a lot of money in the last few years so that means that Financial Fair Play is a factor.
‘If you have players with big salaries that normally aren’t playing then you want to find a solution and this solution will mean you have money to spend on new players.
‘So we will try to maximise what we have and manage the best way possible to be sure we can bring players that will make us strong.’
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