Barcelona star Javier Mascherano has move to quash rumours that Everton will keep on-loan attacker Gerard Deulofeu.
The 19-year-old starlet has spent the current season at Goodison Park, where he has lived up to his billing as one of Europe’s top emerging players.
His fine form has led to talk that Roberto Martinez is already plotting to extend the Spaniard’s stay, with a fresh offer rumoured to be in the pipeline.
However Mascherano – a former Liverpool player – feels that Everton’s hopes of keeping Deulofeu are futile, with the teenager set for an increased role at the Nou Camp:
“Gerard is a player with a lot of quality,” he is quoted by The Mirror.
“I think Barcelona are already thinking about bringing him back to the Nou Camp.
“I don’t know for certain if it will be for next season, but he is an important player for the future of Barcelona.
“Playing at Everton has been good for his development.”
A number of Everton’s present crop of stars are currently only at the club on a temporary basis.
Gareth Barry and Romelu Lukaku are currently owned by Manchester City and Chelsea respectively, while giant striker Lacina Traore will return to Monaco at the end of the season.