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Gerard Deulofeu rules out Barcelona return; Watford keen on permanent transfer

Gerard Deulofeu says it is "clear" he will not return to Barcelona this summer with Watford keen to sign the on-loan winger permanently.

Deulofeu, 24, returned to Barcelona from Everton for €12 million at the beginning of the season but failed to impress coach Ernesto Valverde and was allowed to leave in January.

An injury has hampered his time at Vicarage Road but he has impressed when he has played and coach Javi Gracia would like him to stay.

The Spain international is not sure what the future holds for him yet but is certain it will not be at Camp Nou.

"[Gracia] has told me he wants me to stay at Watford and it's clear that I won't return to Barca -- I don't think Valverde wants me back," he told Cadena Ser.

"I just have to wait and see what happens. I've just come back after months out with a fractured metatarsal. I played my first few minutes since getting fit [against Tottenham] and we'll see what happens in the future.

"We will speak to [Gracia]. We have to take it slowly, analyse the situation carefully and see what happens. I need to be calm. I wanted to go out on loan [in January] and I don't think I'll return to Barcelona."

Deulofeu made 17 appearances for Barca this season, including 10 in La Liga, before moving to the Premier League in the winter.

However, his name was omitted from the celebratory T-shirt the Catalan printed when they won the La Liga title on Sunday, leading to him to take to social media to ask where his name was.

It is likely to signal the end of Deulofeu's Barcelona career for the second time.

After loan spells at Sevilla and Everton, he joined the latter on a permanent deal in 2015. An impressive six months on loan at AC Milan convinced Barca to execute their right to re-sign him last summer, though.

But the club-record signings of Ousmane Dembele and Philippe Coutinho pushed him to the fringes of the first team squad and Barca are likely to cash in at the end of the current campaign. 

Samuel Marsden covers Barcelona for ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter @SamuelMarsden.

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