Barcelona forward Gerard Deulofeu is reportedly close to completing a switch to Napoli in the January transfer window.

The 23-year-old came up through the ranks of the Catalan club's youth system and was away from the first team since 2013. He left Camp Nou and completed a permanent switch to Everton in 2015, only to return to his boyhood club last summer.

Deulofeuhas failed to feature regularly and has made only nine appearances in the La Liga, which includes five starts. Lack of playing time at the club has seen him being linked with a move away from his current employers.

According to RAC1 via Mundo Deportivo, the Serie A outfit are edging closer towards sealing the deal for the Spain international. Barcelona are demanding a fee of around €20m (£17.6m, $24.3m) to part ways with their player.

However, Napoli are hoping to agree a deal for €15m (£13.2m, $18.3m). The report claims two clubs could further negotiate and a bid of around €17m (£15m, $20.7m) should help the Italian club to secure Deulofeu's signature.

Napoli are not the only club interested in signing the Barcelona attacker. Their league rivals Inter Milan are also monitoring Deulofeu's situation with the La Liga giants and confirmed they would consider an option in signing him after ending interest in Manchester United's Henrikh Mkhitaryan.

"There have been no formal offers for Deulofeu, but we are paying attention to the situation. If there are the conditions to try something, we know the characteristics we are looking for. Deulofeu could be the right profile, but he isn't the only one," Inter club director Piero Ausilio told Mediaset Premium.

RAC1 claims that Maurizio Sarri's side are leading the race in signing Deulofeu in the mid-season transfer window. Napoli's decision to continue their pursuit in signing the forward was further encouraged after Simone Verdi rejected Gli Azzurri's approach in order to continue at Bologna.

"I feel obliged to continue this season with a club that believed in me as a player and as a man. It would have been disrespectful to let everything go," Verdi wrote on Twitter.

Meanwhile, Barcelona manager Ernesto Valverde admitted the club will sanction Deulofeu's sale, if he decides to leave Camp Nou in January.

"If he asks to leave we'll evaluate things, but that's not happened yet. He is a player we count on, he's played in the past... It's about the coach having to make decisions. What he has to do is work hard to change his situation and get [back] in the squad," Valverde was quoted as saying by Sport.

Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis has also admitted that Sarri will make a decision whether his side will sign Deulofeu or Verdi, before the latter decided to continue at Bologna.

"Deulofeu or Verdi? Let's see, it will also be up to Sarri. When you sign players that will join the first squad, your coach has a big say on the matter. When you sign a player, you also need to get the okay from him and his club," De Laurentiis told Radio Kiss Kiss, as quoted by Calciomercato.

Gerard Deulofeu
Barcelona re-signed Gerard Deulofeu from Everton in the summer of 2017 Getty