West Ham United are reportedly interested in bringing former Barcelona winger Gerard Deulofeu back to the Premier League.
According to Calciomercato, former Barcelona, Everton and Watford star Gerard Deulofeu, who is currently plying his trade with Udinese in Serie A, is interested in moving back to England. West Ham United are reportedly planning to secure his services.
A Barcelona youth product, Deulofeu was sent out on loan to Everton in 2013 and has been a journeyman since. A year in Merseyside was followed by another year-long loan spell with Sevilla. The Toffees then bought him permanently for €6 million in 2015.
He repaid much of the sum Everton paid for him, providing 13 assists across competitions in his first permanent season with them. But the goals and assists dried up in the following year, and he was then shipped out to AC Milan on a year-long loan. With the Rossoneri, Deulofeu made 18 appearances, scoring four goals and assisting three.
Barcelona came calling, re-signing their academy product for twice the fee they had received from Everton. The winger’s second spell with the Catalan giants wasn’t fruitful either, and another loan spell followed. Watford got him on a six-month deal in January 2018, before making the move permanent six months later.
The Spaniard played 70 matches for the Hornets across competitions, scoring 17 goals and assisting 11 times – a relatively good spell following years of sub-par performances. But ahead of the 2020/21 season, Deulofeu was loaned out again, this time to Italian side Udinese, who made the deal permanent in the 2021 winter transfer window.
However, the 27-year-old is now interested in moving back to the Premier League. On the back of two decent seasons with Udinese which have seen him score nine goals and assist another four, he has attracted interest from West Ham.
David Moyes’ side are currently in contention for a top-four spot and are expected to secure qualification for European football by the end of the season. Given the lack of depth in the attacking department in the squad, the Hammers are on the lookout for forwards heading into the summer.
Furthermore, Jarrod Bowen is being heavily courted by Liverpool. If he leaves, West Ham will need to further strengthen their frontline. While Deulofeu might not be the biggest name around, he has experience in the Premier League and can add depth in the final third with his ability to play anywhere across the frontline.
The Calciomercato report claims that AC Milan have also shown interest in reacquiring Deulofeu’s services. But links with the Hammers are much more concrete, with contact also being established between the two parties. Whether it leads to a summer transfer remains to be seen.