By David Lynch, Merseyside Correspondent

2nd Mar, 2023 | 12:44pm

Abdoulaye Doucoure: Everton star could now leave for nothing, it's up to Dyche - sources

Sean Dyche will be given the final say over whether Everton trigger a 12-month option in Abdoulaye Doucoure’s contract, sources have told Football Insider.

The 30-year-old is into the final three months of the three-year deal he signed upon joining the Toffees from Watford for around £20m in the summer of 2020.

But the club have an option to extend that by a further year and prevent Doucoure leaving on a free transfer this summer.

It had been thought that Everton would look to trigger that clause simply to retain the player’s value even should it ultimately be decided that his future lay elsewhere.

However, it is understood that Dyche will in fact have full control over whether Doucoure‘s deal is extended, with the club willing to allow him to depart for nothing should the manager wish to go down that route.

Asked about a potential extension before handing the Mali international a fifth consecutive start at Arsenal, the Blues boss said: “I’ve only been here four games. You have to do a bit more than four games when I am your manager,” the Blues boss said.

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“He’s certainly someone that could help the club going forwards. I think he has done very well. Different managers see different things, different managers want different things.

“This is no question of any other manager at all. But he is someone I have always liked as a player.

“I think that, in a strange way, it always gives you a head start. But you don’t know until you get here.

“I got here and either he saw it as a fresh chance. Then, it’s up to the players. They all respond to new manager changes in different ways. He has just responded very well so far – but I want him to continue in that vein.

“I think he has played very well. Other than the first 15 minutes the other day, when I didn’t think we were particularly at it, he was excellent after that.

“He keeps working in both boxes, driving with his running that’s for sure. The signs are good.”

Doucoure had struggled for playing time under previous Everton manager Frank Lampard, who left Goodison Park with a frosty relationship with the midfielder.

It led to Doucoure making just three starts across all competitions prior to Dyche’s appointment, while the Toffees had been willing to entertain offers for his services in the January window.

In other news, Fulham plot new move for Everton and Leeds target Viktor Gyokeres after offer rejected