James Rodriguez’s Olympiacos transfer already at risk of going up in smoke as Rafa Benitez is linked with job

    JAMES RODRIGUEZ could be about to come face-to-face with his old sparring partner Rafa Benitez at Olympiacos.

    Benitez is one of the names in the frame to take the vacant manager’s job at the Greek giants, according to Mundo Deportivo.

    James Rodriguez failed to live up to expectations at Everton

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    James Rodriguez failed to live up to expectations at EvertonCredit: Getty

    The Spaniard was Rodriguez’s boss at Real Madrid and at Everton and they are said to have a fractious relationship.

    The Colombian playmaker arrived at Goodison Park after being signed by ex-Toffees manager Carlo Ancelotti in 2020.

    But he spent just one year there before being sold to Qatar outfit Al-Rayyan after falling out of favour with Benitez.

    Last week Rodriguez, 31, joined Olympiacos as a free agent and he made a promising debut in Sunday’s 2-1 defeat at Alan Pardew’s Aris Thessaloniki.

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    That loss brought to an end ex-Huddersfield boss Carlos Corberan’s very short spell in charge of the Greek heavyweights.

    And it has opened the door to the possibility of them bringing in Benitez – and being reunited with Rodriguez.

    The likes of Marcelo Bielsa, Quique Setien and – optimistically – Thomas Tuchel have also been linked with the role.

    Former Olympiacos boss Míchel has also been hotly tipped to return for a second stint.

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    But the prospect of Benitez and Rodriguez working together at the Karaiskakis Stadium remains.

    And as Benítez has previously critiscised the star’s fitness and commitment levels, it could make for interesting viewing.

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