It looks increasingly likely that Gerard Deulofeu will be leaving Everton this month, with Middlesbrough joining AC Milan and Marseille in the race for his signature.
Deulofeu has fallen out of favour at Goodison Park this season under new boss Ronald Koeman.
The 22-year-old has made just five starts in all competitions and has played just 45 minutes of first-team football in the past month.
He was left out of the Everton squad entirely for Sunday’s 4-0 win over Man City, suggesting his future lies away from Merseyside.
AC Milan have held a long-standing interest in Deulofeu, though they now face competition from Premier League Middlesbrough.
The Middlesbrough Gazzette is reporting that Boro are eyeing a move to Deulofeu to add some much-needed creativity to their attack.
The report also claims French side Marseille have registered an interest in the former Barcelona youngster.
Koeman revealed last week that he was ready to let fringe players leave the club this month, with Tom Cleverley and Oumar Niasse already departed.
Deulofeu now looks likely to join them, though it’s not yet clear whether it will be a loan or permanent deal.
The Gazzette claims Middlesbrough are open to a loan or permanent move, while AC Milan have given Everton a deadline of Tuesday to decide on Deulofeu’s future.
A move to a club the size of AC Milan, in the slower and more methodical Serie A, looks the preferred option for Deulofeu.
However, a move to Middlesbrough keeps him in the Premier League and offers him the opportunity to work with fellow Spaniard Aitor Karanka.
Most Evertonians will be sad to see Deulofeu leave given the potential he showed during his first season at the club in 2013-14.
However, he has struggled for consistency since joining on a permanent deal in 2015 and when Koeman arrived last summer the writing was on the wall.
When it came to working within Koeman’s high-pressing, hard-working system, Deulofeu was an awkward fit.
There were also question marks over his fitness, with Deulofeu completing 90 minutes just twice in 2016.
That said he was always capable of a moment of magic, even if they weren’t regular enough to hold down a place in the team.
He is another player who is likely to leave with the best wishes of all Evertonians.