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Rafael Benitez adamant Everton have no plans to sell Richarlison

By August 27, 2021No Comments

Everton manager Rafael Benitez has insisted the club have no intention of selling striker Richarlison.

The Brazilian has been linked with Paris St Germain as a potential replacement for Kylian Mbappe should the Frenchman, who is a reported target for Real Madrid, leave the Ligue 1 club.

Richarlison, 24, joined Everton from Watford in a £40million deal three years ago and is under contract until 2024.

“We are not considering selling him,” said Benitez at a press conference to preview Saturday’s Premier League trip to Brighton.

“He is our player, we are really pleased with him and we are happy. Hopefully he can score a lot of goals for us this year.”

There has also been speculation over the future of two other attacking players in Moise Kean and James Rodriguez but Benitez was reluctant to discuss whether they could leave Goodison Park before Tuesday’s transfer deadline.

The Spaniard said: “We have some players that people know are good players and they are players people could be talking about.

“There are rumours but this speculation is something you (media) have to do because you have to give information as fans.

“But for us, as coaches, we have to concentrate on what we have. We have our players here, we have an important game against Brighton and we will try to do our best to be sure we are ready.”

Everton have made a positive start under former Liverpool boss Benitez, who was controversially appointed as Carlo Ancelotti’s replacement in the summer.

The Toffees opened their Premier League campaign with a 2-1 victory over Southampton before producing a positive performance in a 2-2 draw at Leeds last weekend.

Asked how he viewed matters so far, Benitez said: “Fine – could be better, could be worse, but overall the reaction of the players, the commitment of the players, the desire and sometimes the way we are playing, I am happy with.

“I know we have to improve things but at the same time I think everyone understands how difficult the transfer window is for us, how difficult the financial fair play rules are, what the team did in the past, the Olympic Games, the Euros, Copa America – everything has been a little confused at the beginning with a new manager.

“I think we are doing well considering all these things and I am sure we will improve in a lot of issues. At the moment it is one step at a time and we have to be sure we have a strong team to play at Brighton.”

Brighton have also made an encouraging start to the season with victories in their opening two league games against Burnley and Watford.

Benitez said: “I think they are doing well. They know each other really well, they are dangerous at set-pieces, they can pass the ball, keep possession, they have some good players up front that have pace and ability.

“They are a good team. They are playing with a lot of confidence and, as usual in the Premier League, it will be a tough game.”