Everton manger Carlo Ancelotti has been accused of covering up truths about injury-prone James Rodriguez by former Colombian star Ivan Valenciano.
The second-highest Primera A goalscorer of all-time has branded the signing of the midfielder as “merchandising” move.
Rodriguez has had yet another injury-riddled season having already missed 12 games for the Toffees this season. This includes Everton’s last three Premier League games.
The reason for his absence has not been given but the midfielder doesn’t look set to return any time soon.
Valenciano has now suggested that Ancelotti is not telling the truth about Rodriguez’s situation.
“For me, he’s (Ancelotti) lying from every point of view, he’s totally lying,” he said, speaking to ESPN.
“James is more about merchandising than football. Everton invested more in advertising than in a player.
“Ancelotti can’t say James is going to miss five games because surely the ‘sponsor’, the ‘merchandise’ or that kind of thing is lost.
“The medical staff surely told Ancelotti that James needs two months to recover. They told him that with the publicity people, he should handle the matter.”
In the 21 games Rodriguez has featured in this season, he has grabbed five goals and eight assists.
Everton make offer for Juventus midfielder
Meanwhile, Everton have reportedly submitted a bid for Adrien Rabiot of Juventus.
Ancelotti is rumoured to be a big fan of the French midfielder, who has also attracted the interest of Manchester United and Manchester City.
Indeed, he was on the 61-year-old’s wish list in the summer.
Juventus are unsure whether the quality Rabiot is showing on the pitch warrants his €7m-per-season contract.
It won’t be an easy ride for Everton though, with United planning to offer a swap deal involving Paul Pogba.