Everton are believed to have secured the services of superstar James Rodriguez on a free transfer, despite initial reports suggesting they had paid a significant fee to land the Real Madrid man.
Merseyside supporters were already rubbing their eyes in disbelief at the announcement that the playmaker had joined the Toffees earlier this week, but the most surprising developments were still to come.
According to Transfermarkt, Carlo Ancelotti and the Everton board may have pulled off an absolute masterstroke with this deal. It is believed that the Premier League side have not paid a transfer fee for the 29-year-old, but instead agreed to allow Madrid a 'lower and conventional' sell-on percentage, should he leave Goodison Park in the future.
Everton confirmed Rodriguez's arrival on Monday on a two-year deal with an option to extend his stay for a third season, but no transfer fee was officially communicated in the announcement. Landing the Colombia international on a free transfer would prove a huge coup for the Toffees, who are hoping to improve on last season's dismal performances.
Ancelotti arrived at Goodison Park midway through the campaign, following the sacking of Marco Silva, but his presence did little to change the fortunes of the struggling Merseysiders. The Italian coach has been backed in the summer transfer window however, and Rodriguez's signing is a major statement of intent by Everton.
It is the third time that the former Porto star will play under the current Toffees coach, having enjoyed spells together at Madrid and then latterly Bayern Munich. Ancelotti clearly holds great faith in the attacking midfielder's ability, and he'll be hopeful that the superstar can provide some much-needed quality in the final third.
Rodriguez had fallen out of favour at the Santiago Bernabeu under boss Zinedine Zidane, who was open to the idea of selling the exciting midfielder for several transfer windows.