Rafa Benitez’s Everton press conference: Richarlison sale not considered amid PSG interest, Moise Kean update

Five crucial bits of information Blues fans need to know ahead of the trip to Brighton on Saturday.

<p>Everton boss Rafa Benitez. Picture:  Everton FC/ Youtube</p>

Everton boss Rafa Benitez. Picture: Everton FC/ Youtube

Rafa Benitez has been speaking to the media ahead of Everton’s Premier League trip to Brighton on Saturday (15.00).

Unsurprisingly, the press conference was dominated by transfer talk, with the Toffees boss asked about the futures of Richarlison, Moise Kean and James Rodriguez.

Here’s the five key points you need to know.

Richarlison sale not being contemplated

Benitez has made it clear: Everton are not considering selling Richarlison.

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The Brazilian has been heavily linked with a move to Paris Saint-Germain to replace Kylian Mbappe, who’s being chased by Real Madrid.

Reports in Brazil have suggested that Richarlison’s agent has been in the French capital discussing a move.

But Benitez is adamant Everton have not contemplated cashing in on the 24-year-old.

Richarlison celebrates scoring for Everton against Southampton earlier this month. Picture: Chris Brunskill/Getty Image

The manager said: “We have some players that people know are good players and are players people will be talking about.

“There are rumours depending on things but this is speculation. It’s something you (the media) have to do because you need to give information to the fans.

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“But for us, as coaches, we have to concentrate on what we have. We have an important game against Brighton and we will try to do our best to make sure we are ready.

“We are not considering selling him. He is our player, we are really pleased for him, we are happy.

“Hopefully he can score a lot of goals this year for us.”

Kean’s future

Talk of a Moise Kean departure have also been rife, with speculation he could be returning to Juventus two years after leaving Italy for Everton.

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The striker’s had a difficult spell on Merseyside and was issued a straight red card in Tuesday night’s Carabao Cup win at Huddersfield for violent conduct.

Unlike Richarlison, Benitez refused to rule out an exit for Kean.

He said: “During the game, it was difficult because I couldn’t see the beginning of the incident.

“You cannot change what has happened. Now he has to learn.

“He is a young player, he’s suspended now and he has to learn for the future.

“The reality is that he is our player. He did well last year and is with us, we have to deal with the situation now.

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“We can continue talking about the speculation but we don’t have the solutions.

“We have to wait a few days, see where we are and after, the next press conference may be easier because we’ll have some facts rather than speculation.”

James update

Another press conference, another inevitable question about James Rodriguez.

Everton attacking-midfielder James Rodriguez. Picture: Michael Regan/Getty Images

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The Colombian has yet to play for Everton this season and Benitez has reportedly told Rodriguez he’s not in his plans.

Benitez has still to make his stance clear publicly about where the ex-Real Madrid attacking midfielder’s future lies.

“It is what I said before,” said Benitez. “I cannot give you too many answers to this question.

“These are still our players. We will see. If you ask me the question in three days, maybe you’ll have the solution.

“But today it’s just speculation so I cannot say too much, sorry about that.”

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Potential incomings

Everton are still working hard to bring fresh faces in before the transfer window shuts, having signed Demarai Gray (Bayer Leverkusen), Andros Townsend (Crystal Palace) and Asmir Begovic (Bournemouth) so far.

And the Toffees boss has tunnel vision on strengthening his squad only after refusing to be drawn on Cristiano Ronaldo’s potential move to Manchester City.

He said: “We still have time, we are working on that.

“Until August 31, we still have time to do something.

“In terms of players for other teams, Cristiano is a great player but I won’t talk too much about him.

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“He won’t be my player. You’d have to ask his coach or his new coach, I don’t know who it would be.”

Injury update

Having been hit by players being forced into isolation due to COVID-19 protocol in recent weeks, Everton are starting to welcome back some faces such as Ben Godfrey and Andre Gomes.

Andre Gomes returned for Everton against Huddersfield on Tuesday. Picture: Jan Kruger/Getty Images

But Benitez admits there are still some members of his squad who are absent, while Fabian Delph has been added to the injury list with a shoulder problem.

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He said: “We have some players coming back and some that are still missing.

“Delph has a problem with his shoulder and won’t be available.

“He couldn’t be involved in the Carabao Cup game so it was because of that.”

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