AC Milan to offer star forward in James Rodriguez swap deal
AC Milan are set to undergo a swap deal with Everton in order to sign Colombian midfielder James Rodriguez, with Rafael Leao being mentioned as one of the options.
According to a report from Calciomercato.com, Milan are planning to move in for Rodriguez after Hakan Calhanoglu's free transfer to rivals Inter Milan, with the midfielder's future with Everton being uncertain after Carlo Ancelotti left the club for Real Madrid.
Mendes, who represents Rodriguez, is set to negotiate with Milan over a potential swap deal between the clubs that includes another one of his clients, Rafael Leao.
The report claims that Leao has been a 'very popular' target for Everton for a long time, with the Premier League side wanting him ever since he was with Lille, yet he eventually joined the Serie A giants in 2019.
Leao struggled for end product during his first season in Italy, yet last season he established himself as one of the key players for the Rossoneri, starting 22 games in Serie A and scoring six goals and racking up six assists, helping them finish in second in Serie A.
Everton need a new option up front, with their main goalscoring threats being Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Richarlison, and with both of them being linked with moves away from the club, Everton need to strengthen whether they stay at the club or not.
Josh King failed to provide adequate competition in attack, while Moise Kean is set to be sold to Paris Saint-Germain after his loan with the French club last season.
While losing Rodriguez's creativity in attack could be a huge blow for Everton, his injury problems across the season were a big worry for the Toffees, and so signing someone like Leao, who is much more dynamic and has room to improve, could be a great deal for them.
Rodriguez played in 26 games in all competitions for Everton last season, scoring six goals and providing nine assists, after a quickfire start to his time at Merseyside, which eventually dwindled down.