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Barcelona manager Valverde is set to replace Neymar with the last player you expected

Toffees sold Deulofeu back to his boyhood club after he fell out of favour under Ronald Koeman but they are hoping he can replace world record sale

GERARD DEULOFEU could give the ultimate two fingers up to Ronald Koeman – with the winger set to become Neymar’s full-time replacement at Barcelona.

The 23-year-old scored one and made two assists against Chapecoense last night as they two sides played out a match in tribute to the tragic plane crash.

Gerard Deulofeu has impressed boss Ernesto Valverde during pre-season training and during their friendly with Chapecoense

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Gerard Deulofeu has impressed boss Ernesto Valverde during pre-season training and during their friendly with Chapecoense

 

Gerard Deulofeu and Lionel Messi have already renewed a playing relationship after the winger re-joined Barcelona

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Gerard Deulofeu and Lionel Messi have already renewed a playing relationship after the winger re-joined Barcelona

It was the first time Barca have taken to the field since flogging Neymar for £198million, with the Brazilian heading to Paris Saint-Germain for a fee that shattered the world record.


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And Barca have already spent some of the money made from selling their former forward, with full-back Nelson Semedo and defender Marlon joining Deulofeu.

New Barca boss Ernesto Valverde made sure the club activated Deulofeu’s £10m release clause at Everton to bring their former winger back to the Nou Camp.

The Spain international scored eight goals for the Toffees after 75 games at Goodison Park and was one of former boss Roberto Martinez’s favoured options.

But he had big dips in form and frustrated boss Koeman at times as he was slowly phased out of the team as the Dutchman brought in a host of youngsters.

Gerard Duelofeu left Everton over the summer after Barcelona activated his release clause

PA:Press Association
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Gerard Duelofeu left Everton over the summer after Barcelona activated his release clause

Ernesto Valverde has pledged to work with what he has at Barcelona despite a £198m war chest from the sale of Neymar

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Ernesto Valverde has pledged to work with what he has at Barcelona despite a £198m war chest from the sale of Neymar

Neymar joined Paris Saint-Germain for a world record £198m last week

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Neymar joined Paris Saint-Germain for a world record £198m last week

Valverde said: “He (Neymar) has been a great player for Barca, but he is no longer here and we have to look forward.

“I am not interested in looking back. We have to look at the players we have and solve problems that can arise to win matches.

“At the moment, I have some players in the team who are performing well for me.

“We will see if anything develops. We know that this club, like every other club, moves accordingly to the market.

“I am focusing mainly on what I have, the rest is up in the air.”

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