Marcus Bent has failed to rule out James Rodriguez staying at Everton this summer despite increased speculation surrounding his future.

The Colombian was signed by Carlo Ancelotti last summer, but the short-term contract he penned means he’s already entered the final 12 months of his contract.

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Rodriguez proved a key player during the early parts of his Everton career, making a blistering start to last season to leave the Toffees dreaming of the Champions League.

However, his own dip in form coincided with their slide down the Premier League table – culminating in a 10th place finish and no European football.

Since the campaign ended and Ancelotti subsequently re-joined Real Madrid following Zinedine Zidane’s departure, Rodriguez has been linked away from Goodison Park, with a shock return to Madrid and AC Milan the two rumoured destinations.

However, Rodriguez appears to have shaken off his injury problems and looks in like to start the season with the Toffees having featured on their pre-season tour of Florida, despite a story from the Daily Mail suggesting that he’s not in Benítez’s plans.

Asked where he sees Rodriguez’s future, Bent exclusively told Football FanCast:

“He’s probably there training well, will he stay? That’s something I’m not sure about. But if he’s training well, and Rafa likes him, then maybe.”

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