Everton’s hopes of keeping on-loan youngster Gerard Deulofeu next season have been dealt a blow, with the attacker keen to return to Barcelona.

The Spanish prodigy spent 2013/14 at Goodison Park, notching four goals and four assists in 29 appearances for the Toffees.

This has led to talk that Roberto Martinez may look to keep the 20-year-old on a permanent basis, or at worst for another season on loan.

But his hopes of doing so may well be end in disappointment, with Deulofeu stating that he wants to go back to Barca:

“I would like to return to Barca and this is my first option.” He is quoted by The Express.

“I feel very happy with the season I have had at Everton and have great respect for Barcelona. I also know I have to wait until the end of the season and then we will see what happens.

“Now I have had a year on loan at Everton I am waiting to be told something. Nobody has said anything to me.

“I do miss the Nou Camp and being on the pitch. You have to understand the demands of playing for Barca because the expectation is for Barca to always win.”

Everton were rather reliant on loan players last term, with Romelu Lukaku and Gareth Barry having been first-team mainstays.

Martinez may also have to cope without them next term, with the Belgian striker set to head back to Chelsea, while the veteran midfielder could join any number of clubs from Manchester City when his contract expires in a few months’ time.

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