Everton are not considering selling star man Richarlison, who has been linked with a late move to Paris Saint-Germain should Kylian Mbappe complete a sensational move to Real Madrid.
Rafael Benitez’s Everton take on Brighton and Hove Albion on Saturday, with Richarlison set to be involved.
The Brazil forward helped his country win gold in Tokyo and has returned to make an impressive start to this campaign, scoring and assisting in the opening day draw with Southampton.
Madrid have made two bids for Mbappe, who wants to join Los Blancos, and reports emerged on Thursday that PSG would target Richarlison should the France star leave.
But Benitez insisted Everton had no plans to sell the 24-year-old.
“We are not considering selling him. He is our player, we are really pleased with him, really happy, and hopefully he can score a lot of goals for us,” he said.
“We have some players that people know that they are good players, they can be players that people will be talking about with rumours, depending on other players, depending on this or that. But this speculation is something that [journalists] have to do, you need to give information to the fans.
“But the coaches, we have to concentrate on the players 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 been linked with a move for Brighton’s Neal Maupay, who is hoping to recover from injury in time to face his would-be suitors.
“He’s been important since he’s been here,” said Graham Potter.
“He’s a player that’s developing all the time. He’s not perfect, but he has a lot of really good attributes and qualities that the team appreciates. We’re pleased for him that he scored two goals in his first two games.”
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Brighton and Hove Albion – Shane Duffy
Shane Duffy’s Brighton career appeared to be over when he headed to Celtic on loan last season, but the former Everton defender has returned to play a key role in the Seagulls’ two league wins so far, scoring against Watford last time out.
Everton – Richarlison
Since joining Everton in 2018, Richarlison has been involved in more Premier League goals for the Toffees than any other player (42 – 34 goals, eight assists). In their last game against Leeds United, no Everton player had more shots (five) or created more chances (more) than the Brazilian.
KEY OPTA FACTS
– The home side has never lost in eight Premier League meetings between Brighton and Everton (W6 D2), with Brighton winning two and drawing two against the Toffees at the AMEX Stadium.
– Everton are winless in their last four away games against Brighton in all competitions (D2 L2) since a 2-1 win in April 1983.Everton have conceded seven goals in their last two Premier League away games, as many as they had shipped in their previous 12 on the road in the competition.
– Brighton have won three of their last four Premier League games (L1), as many as they had in their previous 14 in the competition (W3 D5 L6). The Seagulls are looking to secure three consecutive Premier League victories for just the second time, previously doing so in October 2018.
– Only Liverpool (17) and West Ham (16) have had more shots on target than Everton (14) in the opening two Premier League games so far this season. The Toffees are averaging seven shots on target per game so far this term, compared to 3.9 in 2020-21.