£21 million Everton midfield target agrees terms with Crystal Palace

Everton (Photo by Sylvain Lefevre/Getty Images)
Everton (Photo by Sylvain Lefevre/Getty Images) /

A few days ago, RC Lens midfielder Cheick Doucoure was linked with a Premier League move. Everton were one of the suitors alongside Crystal Palace and Arsenal. A move for a holding midfielder like Doucoure made sense for the Royal Blues as there are midfield exits that will certainly happen.

Fabian Delph will walk out as a free agent this summer after spending three seasons at Goodison Park. The Toffees are reportedly looking to offload Portuguese midfielder Andre Gomes in order to lighten the load on the wage bill. Donny van de Beek will return to Manchester United after his short loan with the Merseysiders.

Allan has admirers in Italy with Maurizio Sarri hoping to reunite with the Brazilian at Lazio. The Toffees are surely looking to add a midfielder. Harry Winks has emerged as a target in recent days, a player capable of playing in the central midfield and also operating as a holding midfielder.

Doucoure is one of the most promising modern day holding midfielders. He had an excellent campaign with Lens, finishing seventh and posting some impressive stats. He’s an excellent ball carrier with impressive progressive passing. Doucoure records 6.26 progressive carries along with 6.87 progressive passes per game, which puts him in the top seven per cent of midfielders in Europe’s big five leagues in that category.

Everton could miss out on Cheick Doucoure

The Mali international averages 60 passes per game which goes on to show that he is comfortable in receiving and passing the ball. With all his progressive qualities, the 22 year old doesn’t compromise on his defensive output. He won the third most tackles in the French Ligue 1 this term and made 2.26 interceptions per game. Applying pressure may not be the best aspect of his game but he’s young and still learning his trade.

A player like Doucoure would be a smart option for Everton given that they have been in need of a proper holding midfielder for a long time. However, it seems that the Toffees have fallen behind Crystal Palace in the player’s chase.

According to Get French Football News (GFFN), Palace have agreed on salary terms with Doucoure. A Premier League move was heavily mooted and Patrick Vieira’s side is not wasting any time. With personal terms already agreed, Everton are surely lacking behind but there might be a window of opportunity opening.

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Palace and Lens have so far failed to agree on a fee as the French team is in no hurry to let one of the key players of Franck Haise’s team leave. Doucoure’s partner in crime, Seko Fofana, is also a target for multiple teams across Europe and his price tag has been set at £21 million.

There’s an indication that Les Sang et Or will also demand a similar fee for Doucoure. If the Toffees are seriously interested in Doucoure, they’ll have to intervene quickly. However, the like likelihood of that happening is low because Everton will first have to generate some funds through sales which means that they could miss out on the Mali international.

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Will Everton miss out on Cheick Doucoure?