By Will Butcher
Everton have rejected a loan offer from AC Milan for Spanish winger Gerard Deulofeu, according to a reliable journalist.
The Times correspondent Paul Joyce revealed on his personal Twitter account that the Toffees are willing to let Deulofeu leave, but require a loan fee for the 22-year-old.
Everton reject initial loan offer from AC Milan for Gerard Deulofeu. Player can leave, but likely Everton would want a loan fee.
— paul joyce (@_pauljoyce) January 18, 2017
Milan’s chief executive Adriano Galliani revealed yesterday that talks were ongoing and described negotiations as “very good”, but it now seems Deulofeu’s move has suffered a blow.
The one-time Spain international has fallen down the pecking order at Goodison Park this term, with the likes of Aaron Lennon, Kevin Mirallas and Ademola Lookman ahead of him.
Making just 13 appearances this season in all competitions, Everton’s number seven has failed to find the back of the net and provided just one assist under Ronald Koeman.
The former Barcelona academy graduate was not named in Sunday’s squad that saw Everton trounce Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City by four goals to nil.
Since his move to the Toffees, the speed machine has found the back of the net just eight times in 75 league and cup appearances, but has managed to lay on 19 goals for his teammates.
Football Insider verdict:
Bringing in a loan fee for Deulofeu is key as the Toffees continue to remain busy in the January transfer window after splashing out a combined £35million on Morgan Schneiderlin and Lookman. For Deulofeu himself, a temporary move away could help him restore his confidence after receiving plenty of flack from home supporters. However, selling the Spaniard could be detrimental to Koeman’s squad after the long-term injury to Yannick Bolasie. Everton’s options out wide are thin, and a replacement should be brought to Merseyside before allowing Deulofeu to leave. In the long-term, Deuofeu is a talented player and Everton should be looking to get him firing again before he returns to Goodison Park.
In other Everton transfer news, the Toffees and West Ham have lost out in the pursuit of this £25million-rated playmaker.