Tottenham are in ‘advanced negotiations’ to sign Everton forward Richarlison, and a deal could help push a midfield transfer the opposite way over the line.
The Brazilian, 25, was nothing short of heroic for Everton when it mattered most last season. Staring relegation in the face, the Toffees needed inspiration and found it in abundance from their volatile forward.
Richarlison bagged six goals in Everton’s last nine games to steer them towards safety. That brought his league tally for the season above double figures – something he’s achieved in three of his four seasons on Merseyside.
However, despite beating the drop, Everton’s past financial mistakes always made a key sale this summer likely.
Both Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Richarlison have been talked about as being the fall guy. That stems from the pair being two of the club’s most saleable assets and therefore prime candidates to generate a big enough fee to perform much needed surgery on the squad elsewhere.
Now, according to Brazilian journalist Bruno Andrade, Tottenham are making progress on a Richarlison deal.
Andrade is a contributor to Brazilian outlet UOL Esporte and tweeted negotiations over a €60m (£51m) move are ‘advanced’.
Richarlison had emerged as a candidate to join fellow English sides Manchester United and Arsenal. However, it now appears Tottenham have got the jump on their rivals.
And should the Brazilian switch clubs, the foundations would be laid for Harry Winks to move the other way.
Harry Winks options open up
The Telegraph reported Winks, 26, is a target for Frank Lampard in central midfield. Winks is deemed a more gettable target than attempting to loan Chelsea pair Billy Gilmour or Conor Gallagher.
The January arrival of Rodrigo Bentancur has ensured Winks has no path to regular first-team football under Antonio Conte. Bentancur has already struck up an impressive partnership with Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg in the engine room.
Everton would reportedly prefer to sign Winks on loan with Spurs valuing him at £20m. However, if the Richarlison deal goes through, Everton would have the funds to explore the permanent option.
Why would Spurs move for Richarlison?
The Brazilian is a volatile character at the best of times, though if any manager can tame his tendencies, it’s Antonio Conte.
Spurs have also struggled for many a year to sign adequate back-up for Harry Kane. Kane is a guaranteed starter when fit, meaning any back-up striker signed knows he’ll rarely feature.
Richarlison is capable of operating all across the forward line and played up top on his own on numerous occasions for Lampard last season.
His arrival would provide Conte with a readymade option if and when Kane is absent. However, when the England ace is fit, Richarlison will compete with Son Heung-min and Dejan Kulusevski for the wide berths.
Spurs also have a Champions League campaign to contend with after pipping Arsenal to fourth spot. That will place greater emphasis on their squad depth and Richarlison’s arrival would represent an upgrade on Steven Bergwijn.
The Dutch international has been heavily linked with a return to the Netherlands to join Ajax.