Carlo Ancelotti can delight James Rodriguez and look to keep the Colombian at Everton by making a summer swoop to sign Real Madrid maestro Lucas Vazquez, who produced a creative showpiece during Sunday’s La Liga derby draw with Atletico Madrid.
Rodriguez is thought to have grown unhappy at Goodison Park as he struggles with adapting to life in the Premier League, and is considering quitting the Merseyside outfit after just a year, per Defensa Central.
The Toffees hierarchy are working hard in hope of convincing Rodriguez to stay for another season as Ancelotti does not want to see his reunion called short so soon, but face a sizable hurdle in the £31.5m-rated megastar refusing to rule out a return to Spain.
Rodriguez came out of the blocks on fire with three goals and three assists in his first five games in the Premier League, but has only created one chance and found the back of the net twice in his following 13 top-flight outings.
Injuries have also kept the 29-year-old on the sidelines for eight games and counting, after missing November’s defeat to Newcastle United with a groin issue, four games in December with a calf strain and is currently out of action after sustaining a minor knock.
Yet, despite the issues with his fitness, Ancelotti is striving to retain the £90,000-per-week playmaker and is said to be lining up moves for Real Madrid duo Isco and Vazquez as part of his efforts to convince Rodriguez to continue him spell in royal blue for at least next season.
Everton were heavily linked with a potential move for Isco during the recent winter market, but Ancelotti poured cold on the speculation at the time, noting via quotes by TEAMtalk: “Isco is a fantastic player and [I have] a fantastic memory of him but now I am not, honestly, focused there.”
Vazquez has also been touted for a move to Goodison Park with his £113,000-per-week contract set to expire in the summer, and is keen to see his future resolved in March, per Cuatro, but interest will be widespread after snubbing a new deal with Los Blancos.
Reports by the COPE Network, as cited by Fichajes Futbol earlier this month, added that AC Milan, Manchester United, Tottenham Hotspur and Atletico Madrid had all shown an interest, while Leeds could present a €5m-a-season (£82.5k-p/w) deal for the 29-year-old.
Everton moving to position themselves at the front of the queue for Vazquez may see Ancelotti not also acquire a player who could keep Rodriguez happy and at Goodison Park, but also sign a nine-time Spain international who produced a creative showpiece on Sunday.
Zinedine Zidane awarded Vazquez his 17th start in 20 La Liga outings for the season during the weekend’s 1-1 draw with rivals Atletico at the Wanda Metropolitano Stadium. And, while the £13.5m-rated ace could not add a sixth assist or third goal, he was highly involved in the action.
Only Galacticos conductor Toni Kroos took more touches (116) of the ball for either side than Vazquez (112), along with recording a higher number of accurate passes (96) than the on-the-day right-back (73), per WhoScored.
But Vazquez never let his defensive duties hold him back, despite offering the game’s third-most successful tackles (4), as he relentlessly pushed forward to provide three key passes – only Casemiro (4) played more – along with taking two shots.
It was the second time in his last three La Liga outings that Vazquez has struck two attempts on goal and sixth time in his last seven appearances where he’s registered two or more key passes, to take his averages to 0.9 shots and two key balls per game this season.
Vazquez is finding a rich vein of form at the perfect moment with his Real Madrid future up in the air, proving to Ancelotti that he can offer more than just emotional support to Rodriguez if he is brought to Everton in the summer.
AND in other news, Everton eye summer transfer of £4.5m-rated titan praised by Carlo Ancelotti…