Arsenal are admirers of Watford midfielder Abdoulaye Doucoure, although they’d need to offload players before they could sign him.

abdoulaye doucoure
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND: Abdoulaye Doucoure of Watford celebrates after scoring his team’s first goal on March 30, 2019. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

The Mirror report that Arsenal are admirers of Abdoulaye Doucoure, along with Everton. The latter are planning to return with another bid, after Watford rejected two of their offers last summer.

Arsenal would need to offload Matteo Guendouzi and Lucas Torreira before they could seriously consider a move for Doucoure, according to the report.

In fairness, the media link Arsenal to Doucoure early in every summer window. In 2018, there were claims of a £40m move, and the player himself hinted at an exit. Then in 2019, it was a £50m transfer, with Arsenal on the list of destinations again.

The main reason you might take it more seriously this time around is Watford’s relegation. There’s no doubt the player has a lot more motivation to push for a move, and the club need the money more than in previous years.

But then, Arsenal don’t have a huge amount to spend, thanks to the pandemic. Plus, if they’re looking for a midfielder this summer, it should really be one contributing to goals and assist regularly. That or a clear upgrade defensively, like Thomas Partey.

Doucoure doesn’t entirely fill either of those roles. With the potential cost of a deal, it just doesn’t seem that likely to me.