Former Tottenham Hotspur star hits out at ‘step up’ claims over move for Everton star

Antonio Conte has been linked with a move for the Brazilian international.

Former Tottenham Hotspur winger Andros Townsend does not believe Everton star Richarlison would be making a step up if he was to join his old club.

Speculation over a possible deal between Spurs and their Premier League rivals ramped up over the last 24 hours after Sky Sports reported Daniel Levy had met with Toffees chairman Bill Kenwright.

Monday afternoon also brought news that Spurs were interested in a ‘package deal’ for Richarlison and Toffees team-mate Anthony Gordon - although it is believed Everton have no interest in allowing their talented young winger to depart Goodison Park.

A deal for Richarlison seems more likely over the coming weeks as Spurs manager Antonio Conte looks to further strengthen his attacking options as his side look to challenge of four fronts during the coming season.

Speaking on TalkSPORT, Everton winger Townsend refuted claims that his team-mate would be stepping up in class if he was to join the club where he started his Premier League career.

He said: “I think you’re being slightly disrespectful by calling Spurs a step up!

“I think Everton is one of the biggest clubs in England, one of the most historic clubs, one of the biggest fanbases.

“He’s already a hero at Everton for what he’s done. He’s a fantastic player and towards the end of the season the goals he scored to keep us up. We speak about what Frank Lampard did for the team, why the fans did to lift us, but Richarlison came back from injury, scored goals and kept us up.

So he’s already got hero status at the club and that’s all you’re getting from me!

“I had years of Wilfried Zaha questions (when he played at Crystal Palace), so I’m used to it by now!”

The likes of Chelsea and Arsenal have also been linked with a move for Richarlison in the last two months but it seems likely he could move to Spurs if they can agree a deal with their Premier League rivals.