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Rafa Benitez has opened up on Richarlison talks and claimed he will owe Everton when he returns from the Olympics later this summer.
The Brazilian started every game of the Selecao’s run to the Copa American final and then was selected as part of the squad looking to retain their gold medal in Tokyo.
Brazil will be one of the favourites to go all the way in Japan and with the final taking place one week before the Premier League kick-off, it is likely he could miss some Everton game time.
Richarlison has also been linked with a move to Real Madrid, with suggestions that former Toffees boss Carlo Ancelotti had made contact regarding a potential reunion at the Bernabeu.
Richarlison was a regular for Brazil as they reached the Copa America final
But Benitez believes the fact they have allowed him to play throughout the summer should mean he is willing to pay them back when the season comes around.
“I was in contact with him, he had the Olympic Games in the back of his head, we needed to sort out his situation and he is fine,” Benitez told the club’s official site.
“He is happy because he can go there… and he knows he has to give us something back because we were supporting him.
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“That [not being involved at the start of season] could be something we can consider not great in the beginning but will be a massive boost for us in the rest of the season because he will try to deliver.”
Everton are set to fly out to America later this week, competing in the Florida Cup along with Arsenal, Inter and Millonarios.
And with less than a month until the real thing begins, Benitez has admitted that he has yet to decide on who will have the armband.
Rafa Benitez has yet to confirm who will be Everton's skipper next term
(Image: Everton FC via Getty Images)
Seamus Coleman was the skipper last term, but the new boss has hinted that it will be an open competition to lead the side.
“I am yet to make a decision [on the captain] because it is a new season and you need to know your players,” Benitez continued.
“I am quite comfortable with the senior players, any of them. They show they have the right mentality when you talk with them.
“They are keen to learn. They know something was missing [preventing Everton from sustaining consistently good form]… they are desperate to change that.
“Maybe they need someone to guide them in the right direction, I will try to do that.
“Seamus is a great lad… any of the senior players can be captain, if they have the character and leadership you are looking for in a captain.”
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