Everton are reportedly interested in signing Watford midfielder Abdoulaye Doucoure, who is also being targeted by Premier League rivals Arsenal.
According to the Mirror, the Toffees will once again try to sign the 27-year-old enforcer after having two bids rejected for him last summer.
It is understood the Merseyside club saw one offer as high as £40million turned down for the Frenchman, but Watford have since been relegated from the top-flight and will play next season in the Championship.
The report explains that Watford are facing a battle to keep hold of their top stars, with Everton and Arsenal both circling for Doucoure.
He is a box-to-box central midfielder that was unable to prevent his side from relegation, but he’s been one of the standout players at Cicarage Road in recent years and proven himself in the Premier League.
Doucoure, who earns £70,000-a-week (Spotrac), is a powerhouse that offers a physical presence in front of the back four, plus incredible energy to join in with attacks too.
Both Everton and Arsenal look lightweight in the centre of the park this season, but Doucoure would add some much-needed physicality at either next year and he’s far too good to be in the Championship.
The Toffees have been heavily linked with the Watford man in recent times and finally getting a deal over the line would be a major boost for manager Carlo Ancelotti, who has been working with limited options in the midfield.
After a poor 12th-placed finish in the league, Everton need to be pushing on next season and Doucoure would improve them as he enters the peak years of his career.
Meanwhile, Dani Ceballos and Granit Xhaka have found a strong partnership recently in midfield for Arsenal, but they don’t have an athletic runner in the squad quite like Doucoure.