Everton agree £20m fee to sign Abdoulaye Doucouré from Watford

Sport

Carlo Ancelotti continues transformation of his midfield
Doucouré expected to be joined by Allan and James Rodríguez

Everton have made further progress in their efforts to transform Carlo Ancelotti’s midfield by agreeing a fee of around £20m with Watford for Abdoulaye Doucouré.

Doucouré was wanted by Everton last summer and is understood to have agreed personal terms over a move to Goodison Park. The 27-year-old, who is expected to be joined at Everton by the Napoli midfielder Allan and Real Madrid’s James Rodríguez, is scheduled to have a medical on Merseyside this week.

The French midfielder was keen to remain in the Premier League following Watford’s relegation and has chosen Everton over several alternative options.

Ancelotti identified a need to rebuild Everton’s midfield shortly after replacing Marco Silva as manager and the club, having targeted younger players in recent windows at the instruction of director of football, Marcel Brands, have changed course this summer in pursuit of more experience.

Doucouré could be Everton’s third incoming midfielder this week with Allan and Rodríguez, both 29, also due to undergo medicals. Everton have agreed a fee of €25m (£22.2m) plus €3m in add-ons with Napoli for the Brazilian, and Rodríguez is understood to have accepted a pay cut to facilitate a permanent transfer from Real. Ancelotti has been instrumental in tempting his two former players to join him.