Tottenham were forced to bat off last-gasp approaches from Chelsea in order to finalise the Richarlison transfer, trusted journalist Fabrizio Romano has revealed.
The 25-year-old Brazilian forward was on the move earlier this summer after deciding he wanted to quit Everton. And with the Toffees setting a £60m asking price, competition to sign him quickly heated up. Ultimately, he ended up signing for Spurs on a five-year deal on July 1, with Antonio Conte’s side paying £50m up front. A further £10m will be made up in add-ons.
And Richarlison has made a solid start to life with Tottenham, scoring twice in and proving two assists in eight appearances. And while he is yet to get off the mark in the Premier League, he has two Champions League goals to his name.
However, his move to Tottenham may not have happened at all, had Chelsea got their way.
Just a few weeks earlier, new Chelsea owner Todd Boehly was completing his takeover at Chelsea. And with the American preparing to spend big, Richarlison was one of the names that Boehly and then-boss Thomas Tuchel set their sights on.
And the trusted transfer guru has also revealed the level of interest from a third suitor in Arsenal for the striker.
“Chelsea made a bid for Richarlison during the night before his medical tests with Tottenham (made in Brazil). Richarlison had already an agreement with Spurs and same on clubs side, but Chelsea wanted to hijack the deal,” Romano said.
“Arsenal only asked for information, there was never an official negotiation. It was about the manager, as Conte really wanted him, and also Champions League football of course.”
Richarlison explains Tottenham move
Richarlison, for his part, has explained how his move to Tottenham came about and has also lifted the lid on those Chelsea links.
“I know Chelsea made an offer, and I believe Arsenal also contacted Everton to ask about my situation,” he said. “But Spurs came in and paid the fee, you know.
“It’s as simple as that. Everton had to sell some players to avoid a Financial Fair Play problem. And the negotiations were very brief, to be honest.”
Richarlison admits that he was happy to sign for “huge club” Spurs after they agreed a fee with Everton.
“I was on holiday in Brazil when I heard that Tottenham had made Everton an offer. I was happy because they are a huge team.
“Then it was all about the clubs negotiating a deal, and fortunately, everything went well. Antonio Conte called me during the negotiations and expressed how much he’d like to have me on board – that was vital for my decision,” added Richarlison, via Goal.
Star will feel move was the right choice
Having become a regular in Conte’s side, Richarlison will feel the move was very much the right choice. Having featured eight times and playing in the Champions League for the first time, the move has gone to plan.
And Richarlison will consider himself unfortunate not to have more goals to his name. He was cruelly denied by a tight VAR call in the home win over Fulham on September 3. He was also denied a goal by another offside flag against Sporting Lisbon in the Champions League.
Indeed, he will certainly be feeling confident of securing his place in Brazil’s World Cup squad. Tite’s squad is blessed with incredible attacking options. As such, the likes of Gabriel Jesus recently missed out on a call-up.
But with Neymar, Vinicus Jnr, Roberto Firmino, Raphinha, and Rodrgyo also in contention, competition has never been stronger.
It’s a similar show of strength at Tottenham too. Richarlison is competing with Heung-min Son, Dejan Kulusevski and Lucas Moura for the right to play alongside Harry Kane.
Son has been the man left on the sidelines recently – but responded with a sensational hat-trick off the bench against Leicester. As such, a three-pronged attack of Son, Kane and Richarlison may feature when Spurs return to action.
Their next game is the derby with Arsenal at Emirates Stadium on Saturday 1 October.