Barcelona winger Gerard Deulofeu is said to have emerged as a late target for Watford with new manager Javi Gracia desperately trying to bolster his squad before the transfer window closes on Wednesday (31 January).

Deulofeu has been linked with a number of Serie A clubs in recent weeks but RAC 1 says that the former Everton winger is now "close" to return to the Premier League to play for the Hornets.

The 23-year-old winger only re-joined Barcelona from Everton during the last summer transfer window after the Catalans activated a €12m (£10.6m, $14.7m) buy-back clause agreed when the Spaniard was sold to the Toffees in 2015.

The Under-21 Spain international started the first five La Liga games of the campaign and also enjoyed some opportunities to impress in the Copa del Rey and the Champions League.

However, he failed to make the impact expected in those games and has only made one appearance under Ernesto Valverde in the last two months.

The situation is unlikely to change in the second half of the season with Barcelona having bolstered Valverde's squad further with the arrivals of Philippe Coutinho and Yerry Mina.

Javier Mascherano, Arda Turan and Rafinha Alcantara have already left the Nou Camp this month to make space for the new additions and last week Valverde refused to rule out Deulofeu's exit after giving him a rare chance to impress during the 5-0 victory over Real Betis.

Asked whether the former Everton winger could follow the same path as Rafinha before the end of the transfer window, Valverde said: "I don't know. I don't know what will happen. His introduction was in the same context as Rafinha's.

"I thought in both cases that they could help us in the game. The other day we were 0-0 and I thought that Rafinha could help us. Today I thought to use Deulofeu depending the circumstances of the game and I have kept the idea even though we were winning."

Napoli, AS Roma and Inter Milan have since been linked with the Spaniard after he enjoyed a successful loan spell at AC Milan during the second half of last season.

But RAC 1 says that Watford could win the race following the arrival of Deulofeu's compatriot Javi Gracia to Vicarage Road.

Mundo Deportivo adds that Valverde is ready to let him go but the clubs still need to reach an agreement before the transfer window closes this week.

The reports do not specify the details of the potential deal but it has been previously said that the Catalans will be looking to recoup the €12m they invested in the summer to bring him back from Everton.

A loan deal with an option to buy could also be a possibility with the Catalans having already done that with Inter Milan and Istanbul Basaksehir for Rafinha and Turan.