Jose Mourinho’s Manchester United are the latest club to be linked with Watford midfielder Abdoulaye Doucoure, and have identified the Frenchman as a potential successor to either Michael Carrick or Marouane Fellaini.
The Mirror report that United scouts watched Doucoure in the Hornets 1-0 win over West Brom on Saturday, as Jose Mourinho plans summer reinforcements in midfield with Carrick set to retire from playing and Fellaini likely to move on.
While United have been linked with the likes of Jean-Michael Seri and Sergej Milinković-Savić, Doucoure may represent a cheaper option – although interest from Premier League rivals could provoke a bidding war.
The 25-year-old Doucoure, a former Granada and Rennes star, is Watford’s Premier League top scorer this season with seven and his performances have caught the eye of pundits and scouts alike, with Liverpool, Tottenham and Arsenal also all linked with a summer move.
The latter may have had the upper hand in the race for his signature, with the player previously admitting he is a fan of Arsene Wenger in an interview with Telefoot.
Doucoure, who is under contract at Vicarage Road until 2020, remained coy about his future when recently asked.
He said: “We’ll see what the state of play is in the summer and then we can ask questions.”
In addition to transfer links, Doucoure has also been touted as a potential surprise inclusion in the France squad for the World Cup in Russia this summer, but his Watford teammate and fellow Frenchman Etienne Capoue claims he is keeping his feet on the ground.
“If he puts France in his mind, maybe he loses his focus. He is doing very well when he thinks about Watford, so he should keep doing that,” Capoue said.
“He is not even talking about France, so that is good and I hope he will finish the season well and score more goals.”