Arsenal and Everton are reportedly in pursuit of Abdoulaye Doucoure, who could be on his way out of Watford this summer.
According to a report by Daily Mirror, as relayed by The Sun, Arsenal and Everton are keeping tabs on Abdoulaye Doucoure. The two Premier League clubs are keen on securing the services of the French midfielder, who is expected to leave Watford in the summer transfer window.
Doucoure joined Watford from Stade Rennais midway through the 2015/16 season, but it was not until the onset of the following campaign that he carved out a place for himself in the Hornets’ first-team setup. Since then, he has grown into one of the most consistent performers for the Hertfordshire-based club.
Over the last four years, Doucoure has turned out nearly 150 times for Watford, with a decent return of 17 goals and 12 assists to show for his efforts. His time at Vicarage Road, though, might be coming to an end following the club’s relegation from the Premier League. There is no dearth of interest in him either, with Arsenal and Everton monitoring him.
Arsenal are in a transitional period right now, with Mikel Arteta shaping the squad in his image. After winning the FA Cup this past weekend, the Gunners’ boss will get on to finalising the summer transfer business. And, midfield appears to be one of the priorities for Arsenal.
It is still not certain that Dani Ceballos will be back at the Emirates next season, with a permanent transfer still not set in stone. In addition, Matteo Guendouzi and Mesut Ozil are not in Arteta’s plans for next season, with the former also touted to be part of discussions between Barcelona and Arsenal for a swap deal, which would include Philippe Coutinho.
All things considered, Arsenal could do with a central midfielder, especially with a deal for Thomas Partey difficult to complete. Doucoure is, therefore, a viable target for the north Londoners. Having said that, Everton will hope to provide stiff competition to Arsenal for the Watford star.
Everton, like Arsenal, could see a couple of midfielders leave in the summer, with Fabian Delph and Muhamed Besic linked with summer exits. With Morgan Schneiderlin already departing for OGC Nice, there is a void in Everton’s midfield department.
As a result, the Toffees have been linked with Weston McKennie, among others, with Doucoure now emerging as a player worth pursuing. Interestingly, Everton have already seen a couple of offers for the 27-year-old being knocked back by Watford, as per The Sun.
Doucoure has previously iterated his desire to leave Watford to take the next step in his career. With the Hornets now in the Championship, a summer exit could be on the cards. What now remains to be seen is what his price tag will be and if Arsenal and Everton are willing to meet Watford’s valuation of the player.