Spanish outlet SPORT claim a €13m deal has been struck between the two sides for the 24-year-old, who spent the second half of the 2017/18 season on loan at Vicarage Road. The Catalan side had previously been demanding €20m for the player but appear to have settled on a lower fee, with the deal expected to be announced before the start of the World Cup this week.
Deulofeu had signalled an interest in returning to Watford permanently following the end of his loan spell with the club, during which he made seven Premier League appearances. Barcelona chief Ernesto Valverde was more than willing to sell the Spain international for the right price, with bonuses added onto the deal that could see the value rise to €15m based on Deulofeu’s performances.
A product of Barcelona’s legendary La Masia academy, Deulofeu broke into the first team at the age of 17 before being loaned to Everton and Sevilla. After being bought outright by the Toffees, the winger spent two years at Goodison Park, during which time he also went on loan to Milan before Barcelona activated a buy-back clause on the player in July 2017.
Completing a deal for Deulofeu would represent a strong start to Watford’s summer transfer activity as Javi Gracia looks to improve on last season’s underwhelming league position of 14th. The Spanish forward has shown flashes of brilliance throughout his career but may show more consistency by playing for the same club for an extended period of time.