UPDATE: January 20th, 8:06pm BST
In a stunning twist to this transfer story, Everton are now denying that the deal has been confirmed. Click here for the latest on this loan.
One-time Italian giants AC Milan have confirmed the signing of Gerard Deulofeu on loan for the rest of this season. The winger has struggled to make an impression at Everton this season under manager Ronald Koeman, with just 13 appearances and 1 assist.
How the loan term ended has been a sticking point for this deal for some time, with media sources reporting that Everton wanted a clause put in where the Italians would have to buy the player outright at the end of the season. However, word is Milan have resisted that and will now have the option to retain the player’s services in the summer.
Koeman yesterday said that he wanted Deulofeu to get match time, and was not expecting for him to get it at Goodison Park, so this works out perfectly for the Blues.
“It’s always tough, you’re not really part of the team, you don’t get a lot of game minutes. With the competition level at the club, it’s not easy to get minutes. We have to do first what is best for the club, and next what is best for the player.
“In the situation of Geri, it is best that he gets game time somewhere.”
The terms of the deal were not released, but reports yesterday had them at a £430,000 loan fee with an option to buy him for £15.5m at the end of the current season. He will be reunited with fellow Spaniard Suso, with whom he won the UEFA European Under-19 Championship in 2012.
Two other fringe players this season have also left the club on loans in this January transfer window, with Tom Cleverley and Oumar Niasse also departing.