Barcelona must decide on the future of Gerard Deulofeu by Friday, the deadline for them to exercise a €12m buy-back clause in his contract with Everton.
The 23-year-old moved to Merseyside two years ago where he has experienced an indifferent spell. However, under Ronald Koeman last season, he saw his opportunities limited and in turn sealed a January loan deal to AC Milan.
Deulofeu impressed with the Italian giants, scoring four goals and providing three assists in 17 Serie A appearances, but he has since ‘returned’ to the Premier League club as he awaits an update on his future.
As reported by Mundo Deportivo, Barcelona have five days to make their decision on whether or not to re-sign him for €12m, thanks to the clause that they inserted in his deal with the Toffees.
It’s claimed that the intention is for the Catalan giants to exercise it as Deulofeu represents an ‘interesting sporting and economic option’ for the club, which ultimately leaves the door open for them to sell him on for a profit later this summer.
While the Spanish international has proven his quality and tactical improvement, the problem remains that he will sit behind Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar in the pecking order, and his opportunities for regular first-team football will be limited under new boss Ernesto Valverde next season.
Combine that with the World Cup coming next summer, and he may wish to move on and not risk losing his spot in the Spain squad.
In turn, it makes re-signing him and then sending him out on loan again or selling him on for more money the most sensible strategy, as aside from Milan, there is also reported interest from Roma and so it doesn’t make sense to just let the deadline pass.
For Deulofeu, his more immediate focus will be on the U21s European Championship semi-final against Italy this week, but after that game, he will need to sort out his club future.