Barcelona starlet Gerard Deulofeu is close to sealing a season long loan move to Everton from under the noses of Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool, reports suggest.
The 19-year-old has been told he is allowed to leave the Nou Camp for a year having outgrown Barcelona's B ranks during the last campaign and has had no shortage of offers for his services, with Borussia Dortmund and Sevilla also keen on offering him first team football next season.
But AS report that the player's agent Gines Carvajal is currently in Liverpool putting the finishing touches on a deal that will see the player move to the blue half of Merseyside, with new manager Roberto Martinez playing a key role in ensuring the teenager will ply his trade at Goodison Park next season.
Deulofeu, who is still on holiday after participating in Spain's failed U20 World Cup bid over the past three weeks, signed a new long term contract with the Catalan giants in May and the talented youngster is firmly in the frame for a key role at the club in the future.
Having impressed through the club's famed La Masia academy, both the Barcelona hierarchy and Deulofeu feel the Spaniard is ready for first team football.
However, given that the club's potent array of attacking talent has already bolstered by the arrival of Brazilian international Neymar, the club's latest prodigy is likely to struggle for first team opportunities in Cataluña this upcoming season.
Martinez, who was appointed Everton manager this summer after David Moyes departed to take the Manchester United job, has wasted little time in bolstering his squad in making three signings. Joel Robels, Antolin Alcaraz and Arouna Kone having already arrived at Goodison after featuring under Martinez for Wigan last season.
The arrival of Deulofeu would certainly be recognised as a coup for the Toffees given the huge amount of interest in the youngster's services. Liverpool, Tottenham and Arsenal have all been keen to take the youngster on loan, but the presence of Martinez's interest is thought to have had a deciding factor.