Gerard Deulofeu’s recent form drop-off has seen stories about the Everton owned player become much scarcer than they were a month or so ago. A couple of disappointing performances for Milan, and really disappointing results for the club, has dulled the shine of Deulofeu’s star.

Catalan newspaper Sport are still pretty sure Deulofeu will begin pre-season with Barcelona, after the club have activated the €12m buyback clause they hold with Everton.

Despite Roberto Martinez making it clear, when he was Everton manager, that the Spanish club couldn’t sell Deulofeu on immediately for a profit, that’s still reported regularly as a Barcelona option.

The problem for Barcelona (apart from the clauses Martinez insisted protect Everton) is that Deulofeu has made ‘his annoyance’ clear. The Spain international doesn’t want to be Screen Shot 2017-05-12 at 11.24.57used as a bargaining chip by Barcelona, or seen as anything other than a first team player, should he return.

This is all sounding increasingly complicated for Barcelona, which may end up helping Everton get a better fee than the €12m, perhaps from Milan.