Everton are prepared to make Watford midfielder Abdoulaye Doucoure one of their highest-paid players, should they land his signature this summer, Football Insider reports.
The Toffees currently have Tom Davies, Fabian Delph, Andre Gomes, Gylfi Sigurdsson and Jean-Philippe Gbamin as their options in the centre of the park, but manager Carlo Ancelotti is said to be eyeing a new box-to-box midfielder.
Doucoure has been identified as the prime target for the Italian, but so far, the Toffees have yet to finalise a fee for the Frenchman’s transfer away from the Hornets.
Of late, Wolverhampton Wanderers and Fulham have been credited with an interest in Doucoure, but the Toffees are still said to be favourites to land his services.
It is now reported that they are offering the midfielder wages of £120,000-a-week, which would put him on par with Bernard and Yerry Mina as the highest earners at the club.
The Merseyside outfit have already failed with an opening bid for the former Rennes man and they are now likely to come up with a renewed offer for the midfielder.
The Hornets want at least £25m to part ways with Doucoure this summer and it remains to be seen whether the Toffees can negotiate a lesser fee for his services.
Ancelotti’s side have experienced a quiet transfer window and teenage left-back Niels Nkounkou remains their only signing of the summer.
The club were fancied to sign Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg from Southampton at one stage, but the midfielder chose to make the switch to Tottenham Hotspur earlier this month.
Elsewhere, they have ended their long-term pursuit of Gabriel Magalhaes from Lille with the centre-back reportedly on the cusp of joining Premier League rivals Arsenal.
Stats from Transfermarkt.com