Everton target Doucoure renews with Watford until 2023

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The midfielder was linked with moves to Everton and Tottenham this but has penned a long-term extension with the Hornets

Watford have tied down midfielder Abdoulaye Doucoure to a new five-year contract.

The 25-year-old French midfielder was a standout performer for the Hornets last season, scoring seven goals to be named Watford's player of the year by both his team-mates and supporters.

Doucoure had been linked to a reunion with former boss Marco Silva at Everton, who poached the midfielder's former Watford team-mate Richarlison in a £40 million move in July.

Tottenham were also reportedly interested in the ex-Rennes player and his absence from Watford's pre-season fixtures served to fuel speculation.

However, head coach Javi Gracia insisted injury was the sole reason for Doucoure missing out and he has now penned a deal running until 2023 at Vicarage Road.

"It has become perfectly clear that our ambitions as a club match Abdoulaye's ambitions as a player and we are looking forward to continuing to work together to reach our goals," said Watford chairman and chief executive Scott Duxbury.

Doucoure joined Watford in January 2016 from Ligue 1 side Rennes before spending the remainder of that season on loan with Granada in Spain.

His first year with the Premier League side saw him score just once in 20 appearances, with 14 starts that season.

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However, he broke out in 2017-18, adding three assists to go with his seven goals, playing in and starting 37 of the club's 38 games. 

The former France Under-21 international has played 62 times for the Hornets, scoring eight times.