Rafael Benitez has rubbished claims of Everton selling Richarlison, despite multiple sources linking the forward with Paris Saint-Germain.
Richarlison is entering his fourth season at Goodison Park, having hit double figures in each of the previous three. His form has sometimes seen him linked with a move to mainland Europe. Such rumours have been intensifying in recent hours. It has been claimed that PSG could bid for him as and when Kylian Mbappe leaves.
In fact, it has since emerged that talks are open. That will be cause for concern for Benitez, who has spent the summer trying to increase his attacking options, not decrease them.
But the manager batted away questions about a potential departure for the Brazilian at a press conference on Friday.
“We are not considering selling him,” said Benitez.
“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.”
Richarlison remains under contract at Goodison Park until 2024. He has scored one goal from two games so far this season.
Benitez will be hoping his attention can turn fully to on-pitch matters soon. He has seen his side make a positive start to his time on the other side of the Merseyside divide.
So far, Everton have beaten Southampton and drawn with Leeds in their opening Premier League fixtures.
Benitez happy with Everton start
Of their start, 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.”
Benitez is under no illusion about this weekend’s challenge, though. Brighton have won three out of three between league and cup so far this season.
“I think they are doing well,” Benitez affirmed. “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.”