Barcelona Transfer News: Gerard Deulofeu Rumoured to Be 1st Summer Signing

Matt Jones@@MattJFootballFeatured ColumnistApril 7, 2017

PARIS, FRANCE - MARCH 28:  Gerard Deulofeu of Spain reacts during warmup before the international friendly match between France and Spain at Stade de France on March 28, 2017 in Paris, France.  (Photo by Aurelien Meunier/Getty Images)
Aurelien Meunier/Getty Images

Barcelona will exercise their option to re-sign Gerard Deulofeu from Everton in the summer for €12 million (£10.28 million).

That's according to Mundo Deportivo (h/t Football Espana), who have stated the Blaugrana will move to bring their former winger, currently on loan at AC Milan, back to the Camp Nou at the end of the campaign. The buyback option reportedly expires on June 30.

The suggestions that Barcelona are set to acquire Deulofeu again have been cooled by Lluis Mascaro of Sport, who has reported the Blaugrana are yet to make a final decision on the La Masia graduate.

Deulofeu came through the Barcelona academy.
Deulofeu came through the Barcelona academy.Valerio Pennicino/Getty Images

It's noted that Barcelona can either add Deulofeu to their squad, bring him back before selling him on for a profit or simply decline the option altogether. 

"For now, Barcelona have not decided on any of the three options because before making any moves they need to have a new manager," said Mascaro. "They have not appointed one yet, although Unzue is the favourite."

A fascinating summer is certainly in store for Deulofeu, who moved to Milan on loan from the Premier League side in January.

Here's a look at some of his best moments in the Rossoneri jersey so far:

The 23-year-old joined Everton on a permanent deal in the summer of 2015, and after an inconsistent season, he would have hoped to kick on under new Toffees boss Ronald Koeman this term. However, his erraticism, lack of physicality and poor work rate meant he was pushed to the fringes of the squad.

Deulofeu struggled to make an impact under Koeman.
Deulofeu struggled to make an impact under Koeman.Jordan Mansfield/Getty Images

At Milan he's found some form, playing primarily off the left-hand side for Vincenzo Montella's side; he's scored once and laid on three assists in 10 appearances in Italy's top flight. He recently scored his first goal for Spain in a friendly win over France, too.

Sports journalist Chris Smith has been impressed with his efforts lately and believes the forward could still be a big hit at Everton:

While he's enjoyed an upturn in form in 2017, Deulofeu is still a fair way short of the standards you'd expect from a Barcelona regular.

The Spaniard has the ability to ghost past full-backs with ease, tear up the wing with pace and find strikers in the penalty area with his tremendous crossing ability. But throughout his career, he's not showcased these positive traits consistently enough.

What is important for Deulofeu is finding a role. At Everton, Koeman's pragmatic style of football makes him an unnatural fit, while at Barcelona, the presence of Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar make it unlikely he'd get regular games. Subsequently, some more time with Milan is the most logical option for him as things stand.

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