The Deulofeu situation is getting more and more complicated, as it appears that Barcelona will now indeed activate the release clause in his Everton contract, which makes thing less easy for AC Milan to secure his services permanently.
Just under a week ago, Barcelona’s transfer guru, Robert Fernandez, was quoted explaining the Catalan club would be willing to bring the Everton loanee back to the Nou Camp, with Deulofeu keen on the move too.
With that in mind, Gazzetta dello Sport on Friday seem to think that were this scenario to pan out, with La Liga giants paying €12m to return him home, he would then be available on the market for somewhere around €18-20m.
Flush with cash following the takeover going through, this amount would be affordable for the Serie A side, yet there is a problem with what the Italian newspaper are reporting, and that’s something Roberto Martinez revealed in 2015.
Speaking about Barcelona’s buy-back clause, the Belgium national team manager said: “If they take him back they can’t sell him for a season, so he has to stay in the first-team squad for a season. At the end of that if they decide to sell him we have got first rights of getting him back or we have got a big percentage of that deal. There is nothing we can do if they activate it. That was the deal and the only way we could access the player in the terms that we wanted. I’m delighted with the deal.”
So even if Barcelona do activate the release clause this summer, AC Milan aren’t legally allowed to have access to Deulofeu, meaning the earliest the Spaniard can return to the San Siro would be the 2018/19 campaign.
Even then, it appears the Catalan giants are prepared to meet the Everton loanee’s demands of guaranteed game time, as reported by Sport earlier this week, meaning a move to AC Milan in the summer of 2018 might not be part of Deulofeu’s plans.
As things stand, Ronald Koeman looks more and more likely to wave goodbye to his player in the summer, which he won’t really mind doing, and the same applies to AC Milan.
They, however, will care about losing him a great deal.