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Everton clearly want to keep Deulofeu

Everton have rejected a loan offer from AC Milan for Gerard Deulofeu but the Spaniard’s future remains uncertain as three clubs eye his services, The Guardian reports.

What’s the word?

AC Milan have seen a loan offer for Everton’s Gerard Deulofeu rejected by the Toffees, with Ronald Koeman keen to keep the Spanish U21 international amongst his squad for the second-half of the season.

Deulofeu last started a match for the Toffees in early December, a 3-2 defeat to Watford, and failed to make the squad for Everton’s 4-0 victory over Manchester City last weekend despite impressing with his FA Cup cameo against Leicester City.

With injuries to Yannick Bolasie and Dominic Calvert-Lewin, Everton’s options are depleted and that throws a spanner in the works of a potential exit for Deulofeu as Everton see him as a valued member of their first-team.

The 22-year-old wants more regular football and has fallen down the pecking order since Ronald Koeman took charge, though is has a few potential suitors for his services.

Who’s in the hunt?

As well as AC Milan, who could return with another approach for the Spaniard, Deulofeu has also attracted the attention of Eredivisie giants Ajax and Everton’s fellow Premier League outfit Middlesbrough, The Guardian reports.

Whether Ajax and Middlesbrough’s interest is in a permanent deal or a loan deal remains to be seen but Everton would probably only approve the latter at this time, potentially with an option to purchase him outright at the end of the season.

Given the standard of the Eredivisie being far less than the football played in the Premier League or Serie A, Middlesbrough or AC Milan would be a better fit for the Spaniard but there’s still a way to go before a deal can be concluded.

Article title: Everton clearly want to keep Deulofeu

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