Carlo Ancelotti has shrugged off reports claiming James Rodriguez feels unsettled in England and is considering a move elsewhere, with the Everton boss seeing nothing to suggest that is the case.
A Colombia international playmaker became a marquee addition for the Toffees during the summer of 2020, with the South American making a move from Real Madrid that saw him reunited with a former Blancos boss.
The 29-year-old has struggled for consistency at times during his debut Premier League campaign, but Ancelotti cannot see him pushing for the exits – although he admits the Merseyside weather could be better.
What has been said?
“Oh he's ok, he has no problem,” the Toffees manager told reporters when asked about the surprising transfer speculation.
“I talk to him every day, he's happy here. He's confident, motivated.
“He had a little problem in the last few games with his calf, but now he's in a good condition. He really feels good here because everyone takes care of him and that's it.
“I don't know if he complains about the weather, but we know it's not the best weather ever! But there are a lot of things good in this area.”
Will James be ready for the derby with Liverpool?Getty Images
James was named among the substitutes for Everton’s 3-1 defeat to Manchester City last time out, with Ancelotti handing him 21 minutes off the bench.
The Italian claims that decision was purely precautionary, with a classy playmaker set to step back into the fold for a derby date with Merseyside neighbours Liverpool on Saturday.
“He had a knock [versus City] and he was not fit 100 per cent,” added Ancelotti.
“No, he's not 100 per cent, but he's 99%.”
Who else is back to face the Reds?
Ancelotti confirmed that leading goalscorer Dominic Calvert-Lewin will be in contention for a starting berth at Anfield.
The 18-goal frontman has sat out the Toffees’ last two games with a hamstring complaint, but he is ready to return against the Reds.
Yerry Mina, an international team-mate of James, will miss out after picking up a knock against City, but experienced midfielder Allan is poised for a recall after being absent since mid-December.