James Rodríguez: “Everything was in place for me to join Atlético from Real Madrid.”

Speaking in an interview with ESPN, Everton midfielder James Rodríguez revealed how close he was to joining cross-city rivals Atlético Madrid from Real Madrid.

“I had everything arranged with Atlético, but Real Madrid didn’t let me leave. I spoke with Cholo [Diego Simeone], he told me that I was a super important player. It was almost done. Why didn’t it happen? You’ll have to ask Florentino [Pérez].”

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