Everton’s Director of Football Marcel Brands has revealed that James Rodriguez was indeed signed on a free transfer by the club after recent comments to the club’s annual general meeting (AGM).

The Dutch recruitment guru put an end to mixed reports over the cost of bringing Rodriguez from Real Madrid to Merseyside last year by confirming [via Liverpool Echo] that the La Liga champions sanctioned the Colombian’s exit and waived a transfer fee in the process.

It was initially reported that the Toffees had paid more than €20m (£17.77m) for the 29-year-old, but his former club Banfield – who held a sell-on clause for the player – claimed that they received no proceeds due to Los Blancos effectively releasing the playmaker to Everton.

In other news, Brands confirmed that the Merseyside club paid £200,000 in compensation to Marseille for left-back Niels Nkounkou but paid no loan charge to AS Roma for the arrival of Robin Olsen.

He revealed that the Merseysiders’ grand total of summer spending amounted to around £60m in a summer transfer window which also saw Allan and Abdoulaye Doucoure arrive from Napoli and Watford respectively. Brands confirmed that a few other potential deals were in the pipeline.

According to his comments obtained via the Liverpool Echo, the global financial crisis meant that Everton had to step back and re-evaluate their options. The report added that now-Arsenal centre-back Gabriel Magalhaes was one of those options.

Brands revealed [via Liverpool Echo]:

It was one of the most difficult and weirdest transfer windows ever. We finished the window with a squad of 27 players – a little bit more than originally planned.

We signed six new players. Three on a permanent transfer – Allan, Doucoure and Ben Godfrey. One on a free – James Rodriguez. One on a training compensation – Nkounkou. And one loan without a loan fee – Robin Olsen.

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Brands’ openness about the signature of Rodriguez is refreshing, and it seems quite a coup to have indeed landed the 2014 World Cup Golden Boot winner without incurring a transfer fee.

It should certainly be a source of intrigue for Everton fans, who now know the club’s outlay and the truth behind their deals.