There’s something bubbling with Richarlison.
And by that we don’t mean he’ll be leaving Everton this summer, but there’s almost certainly an effort to push stories about interest.
Let’s go back to April 4th.
Brazil’s UOL came out with a big story that Richarlison’s agent had visited Jurgen Klopp’s house, insinuating there was interest from Liverpool.
The agent involved, Renato Velasco, then told Sport Witness the real reason for the visit.
“So my meeting with Klopp had nothing to do with Richarlison,” explained the representative. “I am an agent of a player of Germany (Noah Weißhaupt), of Freiburg and the U20 of Germany, where his father played with Klopp and they’re friends. So they did not see each other in time and I went to his house to take Marcos (the father).
“It has nothing to do with Richarlison, the people who made the link have added one thing to another.”
Klopp and Weißhaupt were briefly teammates at FSV Mainz 05.
But Liverpool interest wasn’t the only part of UOL’s claims.
They said January had seen offers of over £50m for the player, who Everton deemed ‘irreplaceable’. A sale in the summer would only be considered for over £70m.
In December there had been claims from Brazil that Richarlison was being followed by Chelsea, and also reports of China interest.
The Everton player’s career is also managed by Kia Joorabchian and Giuliano Bertolucci, with Velasco being the man who helped launch him, and they’re experts at getting big transfers and/or big contracts.
Now, Richarlison is being linked with Barcelona by Marca.
The Spanish newspaper are more Real Madrid leaning, but they do get some Barca news. They state he’s one of a number of options, and would cost over €50m.
Barca’s ‘excellent relations’ with Everton won’t change that figure. That said, don’t be surprised to see claims about Andre Gomes being part of a deal, claims which will likely start in either England or the Catalan media.
Everton aren’t going to sell for €50m, and it’s questionable whether Barca would consider even that fee for a back-up. Marca also say Richarlison being a non-EU player isn’t a good thing, given the quota in Spanish football.
Having joined Everton last summer from Watford, and having a contract until 2023, now isn’t a panicky time for a new contract. These claims could be part of gently persuading the Toffees otherwise.
If so, Marcel Brands will know how to handle it, he’s close with Mino Raiola and knows all the games, and has a working relationship with Kia following last summer’s business.