According to reports in Italy, Serie A clubs AS Roma and AC Milan are battling it out for Everton winger Gerard Deulofeu.
The 22-year-old has been a fringe player for the Toffees this season, appearing in 11 matches but just four of them starts, with just one start since mid-October.
According to Sky Sports Italy, Roma executives met with Everton to discuss a deal. AC Milan has been the club linked most heavily with Deulofeu in recent days, but according to the report, Roma is prepared to include an option to buy in their loan deal, something which interests Everton.
The Toffees purchased Deulofeu permanently in 2015 after a successful loan spell from Barcelona, and it’s likely that they would like to recoup the $7 million they paid for him.
Roma is particularly interested in Deulofeu with Mohamed Salah with the Egyptian national team on duty in the African Cup of Nations. Salah is having a fantastic season, with eight goals and five assists in 16 Serie A appearances, and his absence leaves a massive hole in the Roma squad. Sitting four points behind leaders Juventus, Roma cannot afford any slips despite Salah’s temporary departure.
AC Milan has been hit or miss this season in the attack, most recently having failed to score in two straight league matches before the holiday break. Suso has played well on the right wing, while M’Baye Niang has hit a wall after a successful start to the campaign.