Report: Barcelona set to re-sign former player but club must confirm bid by 30 June
The midfielder is a Barcelona youth product and spent 10 years at the club before his departure
What’s the story?
La Liga club Barcelona are set to re-sign midfielder Gerard Deulofeu by triggering his buy-back clause. According to The Times correspondent Paul Joyce, the former Barcelona player is set to make a return to the Camp Nou this summer.
However, Barcelona will have to act fast as the buy-back clause expires on 30 June. The 23-year-old had initially been loaned to Everton before signing permanently on a £4.2m deal. But Ronald Koeman did not give him enough chances to impress and he was soon loaned to AC Milan in the January transfer window.
Deulofeu had earlier said that it would be a ‘busy summer’ as he thinks about his future. “I have to think about the national team right now and then I have to choose the best option,” he said. “It will be a busy summer in my case but I'm calm and everything will work out for sure.”
In case you didn’t know...
After failing to get many opportunities under former Everton boss Roberto Martinez and current manager Ronald Koeman, the Dutch manager packed him off to Milan where Deulofeu performed well in the half season he spent at the San Siro.
In 17 league appearances with the Rossoneri, the Barcelona youth product scored four times and also had three assists as Milan qualified for the Europa League qualifiers – the first time the club had qualified for any European competition since 2014.
The heart of the matter
If Barcelona do not exercise the buy-back clause by 30 June, Everton can sell Deulofeu to any club they want to or even retain him. Barcelona would then have to submit a much higher bid and compete with other clubs if they want to bring him back to the club.
If the Blaugrana do trigger the clause re-sign Deulofeu, they are obliged to keep him at the club for at least one season. This means that they cannot re-sell him in January for a higher price. Everton cannot stand in his way if Barcelona want to sign him before 30 June.
Barcelona are in desperate need of midfielders after a poor season where none of their midfielders impressed. Ivan Rakitic was the top scorer in midfield with 8 goals, most of which were against inferior opposition in high-scoring routs.
Video: Deulofeu highlights at AC Milan
Deulofeu is a player who can play across all positions in midfield and the forward line. While Barcelona’s MSN forward line picks itself, Deulofeu would be a worthy addition to the midfield where players such as Denis Suarez and Andre Gomes are yet to impress on a consistent basis.
Having joined La Masia at the age of nine, he is Barcelona through and through and never really got the chance to play for the first team when he broke through which resulted in loan spells in England, Spain (he also played on loan at Sevilla in 2014/15) and Italy. With his strong dribbling skills and an eye for a pass, he could add another dimension to Barcelona’s attack under Ernesto Valverde.