Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur are among eight English clubs hoping to sign Barcelona starlet Gerard Deulofeu on a season long loan this summer, reports suggest.
The highly-regarded Spanish talent is expected to leave the Nou Camp on a loan deal next season having outgrown the Barcelona B ranks; with the club hierarchy favouring a loan move to a club challenging at the highest possible level.
Reports have suggested a move to the Premier Leaguer or the Bundesliga is favoured by the Barcelona bosses, where Deulofeu can continue his development with a club competing for honours without impacting on the Catalan giants' own domestic challenges.
Liverpool were credited with the strongest interest in the 19-year-old on Wednesday but El Mundo Deportivo now report that they will face competition from Tottenham, Arsenal, Chelsea, West Ham United, Everton and Swansea City, with Championship club Brighton having also made audacious contact with the La Liga champions.
Deulofeu, who is currently underlining his credentials as one of Europe's most accomplished young talents at the Under-20 World Cup in Turkey, will have no shortage of options should Tito Vilanova decide the forward will benefit from a loan spell away.
A move to Anfield where Deulofeu would be reunited with new Liverpool signing Luis Alberto has been suggested as an early favourite. The two played alongside each other for Barcelona B last season while Alberto was on a season long loan from Sevilla, and Brendan Rodgers will be hoping their relationship will help him lean towards a move to the red half of Merseyside.
But El Mundo report six other Premier League sides have also made their interest known to Barcelona, with Liverpool, Arsenal and Tottenham leading the chase after personally forwarding their offers to Deulofeu's agent Gines Carvajal.
Although they would certainly appear to have the unlikeliest hopes of securing a move for the Barcelona teenager, Brighton will hope the relationship between their new head coach Oscar Garcia and Deulofeu will boost their slim chances.
The 40-year-old was part of Barcelona B's coaching staff between 2010 and 2012, working with the prodigious products of the La Masia academy, including Deulofeu. However, Barcelona's insistence that their starlet play at the highest possible level is likely to see Brighton's ambitious interest dismissed.