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Martinez quizzed about Gerard Deulofeu transfer rumours

Boss admits he is an admirer of the Spanish winger

Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

He's magic, you know.

Yes, Gerard Deulofeu (bet you sang that, didn't you?) has been linked with a summer return to Goodison Park from Barcelona.

Deulofeu scored four goals in 29 games on loan at Everton last season and quickly became a fans' favourite. However, despite rumours of a second loan spell on Merseyside the 21-year-old was sent to Sevilla instead for the 2014-15 campaign.

The young winger has made 27 appearances for Sevilla this season but hasn't played since February and looks unlikely to force his way into the Barca starting line-up when he returns from his loan spell this summer,

Spain under-21 coach Albert Celades was quoted this week urging Deulofeu to leave parent club Barca at the end of the season for the sake of his career.

That inevitably led to rumours the mercurial winger would be sold as he is deemed surplus to requirements at the Nou camp.

Everton have been named as a potential destination, though reports he is "dreaming" of a move back to Goodison Park look decidedly suspect.

The whispers had gathered enough volume to prompt a journalist to a Roberto Martinez about it in his weekly press conference.

You won't be surprised to hear that Martinez described him as "phenomenal", and although he refused to outright deny the transfer rumours, he hardly encouraged them either.

The Spaniard believes Barca's current transfer embargo, a punishment from FIFA for breaking rules regarding the signing of players under 18, means the Catalan side would be reluctant to let Deulofeu go as no replacement can be brought in.

Martinez said:

"It's more rumours than anything. Gerard is a phenomenal footballer; we all know that. We enjoyed his time here. I think he enjoyed his time at Goodison, and we'll always have those memories.

"Barcelona's situation is very specific in terms of the ban that they have. So I don't think that information [about Deulofeu returning to Everton] is accurate, knowing the situation at Barcelona.

"The only thing I can say is that Gerard Deulofeu had a fantastic time with us, and we'll always keep those memories in a good place. All the fans have great memories of him."