Barcelona send Deulofeu on loan to Watford

Half a season after returning to Barcelona from AC Milan, Spain winger Gerard Deulofeu has been loaned to Watford in the Premier League.

Gerard Deulofeu has made only five La Liga starts since his return to Barcelona in the 2017 summer.   -  Getty Images

Gerard Deulofeu will join Premier League side Watford on loan from Barcelona for the rest of the season, the LaLiga leaders have confirmed.

Spain winger Deulofeu re-joined Barca from Everton during the close-season when his boyhood club exercised a buyback option after the 23-year-old's impressive loan stint at AC Milan.

However, he has been restricted to five LaLiga starts, scoring in October's win over Malaga, and Philippe Coutinho's arrival from Liverpool this month was set to leave Deulofeu further down the pecking order in Ernesto Valverde's squad.

Watford will pay Deulofeu's salary in full during his time at Vicarage Road, with a potential additional payment of €1million to be made to Barcelona if certain stipulations are met.

Catalan newspaper Sport reported there is no purchase option in the loan and, although Barca did not address this issue directly, a statement on their official website that warmly praised the player read: "The Catalan winger will continue his development as a footballer with Watford football club."

Deulofeu scored five times in 62 appearances in the Premier League across two spells with Everton and could make his Watford debut in Javi Gracia's first top-flight game at the helm against Stoke City on Wednesday.

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