Everton may be on a collision course with striker Richarlison over his insistence on playing in this summer’s Tokyo Olympics.
The 23-year-old has been a regular starter for the Toffees this season. He has scored six Premier League goals from 27 outings while netting 12 times in all competitions. Most players will be looking forward to a rest over the summer but the forward wants to feature in two tournaments.
He is keen to play for Brazil in the Copa America. That runs from June 13 – July 10 and takes place in Argentina and Colombia.
But there is also the small matter of the delayed Olympic Games. They take place between July 23 and August 8.
Richarlison outlined his intentions earlier this year and already knows that Everton are not happy with his workload.
“This year there’s the Copa America and there’s also the Olympics,” he told ESPN. “It seems that the club doesn’t want to let me go [to both].
“They just wants to release me to one, I think it’s for the Copa America, I don’t know. I was called up, I told them that I want to go to the Copa America and the Olympics, if I’m called.”
The Far East showpiece is scheduled to take place during Premier League clubs’ pre-season. And, with the 2021-2022 campaign set to get under way on August 14, it would mean virtually no break for the South American.
But, a social media post on Wednesday appeared to suggest he still harbours hopes of taking part. The official FIFA account asked if his trademark ‘pigeon dance’ would be seen in Japan. And he simply replied: “Of course”.
Richarlison talks expected over Olympics
The South American has won 23 Brazil Caps to date, netting eight times for the Selecao. He played in the 2019 Copa America on home soil.
And the former Watford man netted the third goal of a 3-1 final victory over Peru at the iconic Maracana Stadium. He has yet to play in the Olympics and, with time running out due to his age, wants to put that right.
But it is Everton who pay his wages and it would be a major surprise if they sanctioned his wishes. Carlo Ancelotti still has designs on qualifying for European football next season.
The Goodison Park outfit are eighth in the standings but have a game in hand on those around them.