Kevin Phillips has claimed that he would be “very surprised” if Richarlison left Everton this summer.
Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the former England international argued that Carlo Ancelotti’s vast experience could be an important factor in convincing the forward to stay at Goodison Park.
The 23-year-old admitted earlier this week that he would want to “sit down and talk” with club chiefs if a “good offer” came in for him in the upcoming transfer window.
The hitman also suggested that he would be willing to “hold on for another season” before actively trying to force a move.
And Phillips is inclined to believe that he will still be a Toffees player next term.
Speaking to Football Insider, he said: “Never say never. Anything can happen in football, but I think Ancelotti, with his experience will convince the player that Everton is the place for him.
“They’ve made huge strides. Ancelotti’s turned a bit of a corner, and this summer, with his experience, his knowledge, you could see some decent signings going in there.
“I’m not saying Everton will challenge for top four, but the big aim is challenging for the top six. To have any chance of that you have to keep your best players, and Richarlison is certainly one of them.
“I’d be very surprised if he left the club. The only way he leaves is if he demands to leave. I really hope that isn’t the case.”
Richarlison enjoyed a fruitful season for Everton last time out, hitting 15 goals and four assists in all competitions.
Transfer speculation surrounding the South American spiked back in January when the Toffees reportedly rejected a bid of around £85 million from European giants Barcelona for his services.
In other Everton news, it can be REVEALED that a big-money Toffees deal is on the brink of collapse.
PLUS: Subscribe for free to our brilliant new YouTube channel for daily videos, interviews with our top pundits and special guests, and all the latest insight into the club you love.