Barcelona send Gerard Deulofeu to Watford on loan

Barcelona have reached an agreement with Watford for Gerard Deulofeu to join the English club on loan until the end of the season.

Watford will take responsibility for Deulofeu's wages and could end up paying a Barca a potential €1 million in performance-related variables. The Premier League side do not have an option to sign the winger when the loan ends in the summer.

Barca paid €12 million to re-sign Deulofeu from Everton last summer, having been impressed by his performances while on loan at AC Milan last season.

However, the 23-year-old has failed to make an impact back at Camp Nou, despite being handed a golden opportunity to impress coach Ernesto Valverde when Ousmane Dembele was ruled out for four months in September.

In total, Deulofeu has made 17 appearances in all competitions this season but he has played just nine minutes of football since the beginning of December. He has scored two goals.

He had been widely linked with a return to Serie A this month, where his reputation was enhanced with Milan last year, with Roma, Inter and Napoli all linked with a loan move. Barca had been open to negotiating with the Italian sides, but no concrete offer materialised.

It's the fourth time that Deulofeu, who joined Barca's academy at the age of nine, has been forced to leave in search of regular football.

After spells on loan at Everton and then Sevilla, he joined the former on a permanent deal worth €5m in 2015. In his second season back at Goodison Park, he was loaned out to Milan in January, which proved the spark for his return to Barcelona.

Deulofeu will return to Barcelona in the summer, where his contract runs until 2019.

He becomes the fourth player to leave the clubs this winter, with Arda Turan, Javier Mascherano and Rafinha all previously moving either on loan or permanent deals.

Meanwhile, Barca have signed two new players, breaking their transfer record to land Philippe Coutinho and bringing in Yerry Mina as a replacement for Mascherano.