Everton close to keeping on-loan ace

Everton are closing in on a deal to keep Barcelona star Gerard Deulofeu at the club for another season, according to reports from The Metro.

The Spanish starlet has spent the current campaign at Goodison Park, where he moved to get more playing time, and has been impressive.

His fine displays have led to rumours that Everton chief Roberto Martinez has been keen to extend the 20-year-old’s stay for some time, but there were initial fears that he may be re-called by Barca.

But now it is understood that a deal in principle has been struck between the Catalans and the Merseysiders to keep the Spaniard in England for another campaign.

The La Liga champions’ successful appeal against their transfer ban is believed to have had a major bearing, with the club now able to sign and sell players during the summer.

If they were unsuccessful in their lobbying, there was suggestions that Deulofeu would be brought back to freshen up the first-team squad and provide the likes of Alexis Sanchez, Lionel Messi, Pedro and Neymar with competition.

Everton are also thought to be looking to maintain Romelu Lukaku’s presence at the club, with the Belgian rumoured to be available with Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho looking to cash in on the £20m-rated hit-man.