Everton close in on James Rodriguez transfer as they leapfrog Man Utd and Arsenal in race for £22m Real Madrid outcast

EVERTON are closing in on a shock move for Real Madrid star James Rodriguez, according to reports.

Boss Carlo Ancelotti wants to reunite with the Colombia playmaker having managed him at Los Blancos and Bayern Munich.

Rodriguez, 29, has just 12 months left on his contract at the Bernabeu and is free to leave this summer.

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According to Sky Sports, Everton have launched an offer believed to be around £22million and the two clubs are on the verge of coming to an agreement.

Rodriguez will be Ancelotti's first marquee signing of the season as he looks to improve on the club's 12th place finish.

He is likely to sign a three-year deal as he looks to reignite his career.

Rodriguez made just eight LaLiga appearances last season after returning from a two-year loan stint at Bayern.

His availability sparked interest from Manchester United and Arsenal but both Prem rivals baulked at his £140,000-a-week wages.

Rodriguez moved to Real Madrid for £63m in 2014 making him the fourth most expensive player of all-time.

Last month Ancelotti revealed his admiration for the player but cast doubts on whether he could sign him.

The Italian said: "James Rodriguez? I like, I like a lot as a player.

"When I left Madrid, James Rodriguez followed me to Munich. He came to play.

"But he followed me as a rumour to Napoli and now he is following me here to Everton as a rumour.

"I have to be honest, I like him a lot. But he is a Real Madrid player. I think he will still be a Real Madrid player."

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