Kevin Phillips has claimed that Abdoulaye Doucouré would be a signing that could help Everton realise their ambitions of European football next season.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the former Watford striker claimed that the Frenchman is a “powerhouse” who would improve Carlo Ancelotti’s squad ahead of the new Premier League campaign.

The 27-year-old midfielder was relegated with the Hornets this summer, and is attracting interest from Merseyside.

According to the Evening Standard, the Toffees failed with an initial bid for the player earlier this week, but retain an interest in completing a deal in the coming weeks.

It is understood that Watford are holding out for a fee of around £25 million.

And Phillips has backed the prospect of him moving to Goodison Park.

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Speaking to Football Insider, he said: “I think he was one of Watford’s better players this year.

“Certainly when Nigel Pearson took over, he seemed to get the best out of him, and we saw that he’s a big powerhouse who could certainly improve the squad.

“It looks like that deal could be done.

“If Everton can get another two or three of that quality, they certainly could be pushing for one of those top six, seven, eight places.”

Everton failed with an attempt to sign Doucouré last summer after having a bid of around £30 million turned down by the Hornets.

The player signed arrived at Vicarage Road from Stade Rennais in 2016 for a fee of around £9.5 million, and has gone on to make 141 appearances for the club.

In other news, an Everton big-money signing has collapsed after terms agreed.