AC Milan have spoken to Barcelona regarding Gerard Deulofeu, with the Everton loanee's future continuing to be subject to intense speculation. Departing Goodison Park on a January deal in search of more regular first-team opportunities, the fleet-footed Spaniard has impressed with two goals in his first 12 appearances in Italy.
In addition to tempting Milan into a permanent pursuit of his signature, theresurgence in Serie A has also attracted attention from former club Barcelona. The Catalans retain a €12m (£10.2m, $12.7m) buy-back option on the 23-year-old as part of his permanent sale to Everton in July 2015 and recent reports from Mundo Deportivo suggest that they intend to exercise that clause this summer.
It will then be up to Luis Enrique's successor to decide whether to integrate former Sevilla forward Deulofeu into the first-team squad at the Nou Camp or dispatch him for a third loan stint elsewhere.
Barcelona purchasing his registration back from Everton before allowing him to rejoin Milan on a temporary basis could be one feasible option, or alternatively they could sell him on immediately for a higher price.
"I haven't had the chance to think about [Deulofeu's] future because most probably I won't be the one to manage the club's transfer market," outgoing Milan general manager Adriano Galliani was quoted as saying by the club's official website. "I can, though, say I have spoken with Barcelona's management...".
Milan boss Vincenzo Montella has previously admitted that Deulofeu's future is out of his hands. Indeed, at this stage it remains unclear if the former Roma stalwart will even remain in charge at the San Siro beyond the end of the season with Chinese investment group Sino-Europe Sports expected to complete their heavily protracted £650m takeover of the seven-time European champions later this week.
Barcelona technical secretary Robert Fernandez has already hinted at a potential return for Deulofeu, although the player insists that he is only focused on the present after being rewarded for his exciting displays with a call-up to Julen Lopetegui's Spain squad for matches against Israel and France.
He made just his second ever senior international appearance and a first since 2014 in a 2-0 friendly win in Paris, entering the fray as a second-half replacement for Chelsea counterpart Pedro and seeing the incorrect offside call that initially ruled out his 77th-minute strike overturned by the video assistant referee.