Tottenham’s Richarlison hits back at ‘mutiny leader’ theory on Conte

Tottenham forward Richarlison has shut down suggestions his public spat with Antonio Conte played a part in the Italian’s sacking. The Brazilian last month made clear his frustration over his lack of game time this term, with Conte responding by saying the forward had a “s*** season”. 

Richarlison publicly vented about his sporadic game time after Spurs were dumped out of the Champions League by AC Milan. Conte hit back at his summer signing and pointed out that he had been injured for large portions of the campaign. 

A Brazilian media outlet claimed that Richarlison and team-mate Cristian Romero led a player revolt against Conte and placed pressure on the Spurs board to sack the 53-year-old. Richarlison denies having involvement in the decision and has slated the report for containing “lies”. 

“Questioning and criticising me as a player for my performance is part of football and I got it,” Richarlison said on Twitter. “However, telling lies about me, I don’t accept! I’ve always had a lot of respect for Conte and for all my coaches.

“He helped me a lot in me coming to Spurs and, whenever we had a problem (even if it was public) we solved it based on conversation and professionalism — and this he can confirm.

“I wasn’t a mutiny leader against him, it was quite the opposite. I’m sorry I didn’t deliver as much as he expected of me and I didn’t do enough for him to stay.

“When he left, I sent him a message thanking him for everything and wishing him the best cause that’s what he deserves! On the other hand, the journalist responsible for this awful lie did not even do the least which would be talking to my PR or listening to me. Bad professional and bad character! And shame on you, TyC Sports!”

Richarlison joined Spurs from Everton for around £55million last summer. But the 26-year-old has endured a tough first campaign with the North Londoners. 

He has often played second-fiddle to Conte’s preferred front three of Harry Kane, Son Heung-min and Dejan Kulusevski. “This season, excuse the word, it’s been s***, because I don’t have minutes, I suffered a little with the injury,” Richarlison said after Spurs were knocked out of the Champions League.

“But, when I enter the field, I give my life. I came from two games well, I think that’s it, I think I should have played and I don’t have to cry about it.”

Spurs are searching for Conte’s replacement. Former Bayern Munich boss Julian Nagelsmann is reported to be the No 1 candidate.

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