By Harvey Byrne
Serie A heavyweights AC Milan are looking to negotiate a loan deal with Everton for Gerard Deulofeu, according to Sky.
The Sky Sports website reported on Friday evening that discussions between the two clubs were believed to be at early stages for the 22-year-old.
However, it is also stated that the Toffees “may be eager to retain the services” of the young speed merchant.
The Goodison Park club are currently short on options out wide following the long-term injury Yannick Bolasie suffered at the beginning of December.
But, Deulofeu has played just 12 matches under Ronald Koeman in all competitions this season and he seems to be someway down the Dutch manager’s pecking order.
Additionally, Everton have been linked with a number of wingers for the January window, including Memphis Depay and Ademola Lookman, which could leave Deulofeu further adrift in the team.
The young Spaniard made the permanent switch to the Toffees under former boss Roberto Martinez in the summer of 2015.
He had initially impressed on loan during the 2013-14 campaign, but his return has so far not gone to plan.
With his contract also set to run out in 2018 it is now hugely expected that Deulofeu’s career at Everton will be coming to a premature end soon.
Football Insider verdict:
Deulofeu is still of the age where he can comeback from his current poor form, meaning that a loan move may prove ideal for Everton. However, the contract situation has also left the club in a sticky situation. If the young Spaniard is still with the Toffees in the summer then he will be entering his final year, which will see his value plummet for any interested club’s. If he stars on loan in Milan then the bright lights of the San Siro will attract him at a cut price deal, while if he fails to produce again Everton are left with a struggling player for one more year before departing on a free. Koeman must now decide whether to let Deulofeu go permanently in January in order to meet his true value.
In other Everton transfer news, the Toffees are lining up a £20million deal for this Premier League defender.