Doucoure in line for Watford pay rise

Watford to offer Abdoulaye Doucoure a huge pay rise as they aim to keep their star midfielder.

The Hornets are willing to make the former Rennes man their joint highest earner with a new five-year deal in a bid to fend off interest from other clubs.

The new deal would be worth around £70,000 a week to keep the Frenchman, who has been a sensation this season.

That would put him on a par with skipper Troy Deeney, the club’s top earner.

Doucoure, who will be 26 on New Year’s Day, was not an instant hit when he arrived at Vicarage Road from Rennes nearly two years ago in a £5.4million move.

He was sent on loan to Watford’s Spanish sister club Granada.

But his six goals this season have included some long-range spectaculars and boss Marco Silva describes him as the "heartbeat" of the team.

Doucoure’s commanding box-to-box performances have earned him comparisons with Patrick Vieira, and that has alerted Arsenal, who train just over the hedge from Watford at London Colney.

He has more than two years left on his current contract and could command more than £20m in the transfer market.

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