Everton delay Doucoure contract extension talks

BRIGHTON, ENGLAND - MAY 08: Abdoulaye Doucoure of Everton celebrates after scoring the team's second goal during the Premier League match between Brighton & Hove Albion and Everton FC at American Express Community Stadium on May 08, 2023 in Brighton, England. (Photo by Steve Bardens/Getty Images)

Everton have activated Abdoulaye Doucoure’s one-year contract extension ahead of their crucial final game of the season against Bournemouth.

Sean Dyche’s side, who hold a slender two-point advantage over relegation rivals Leicester and Leeds heading into the final weekend, can secure their Premier League safety with a victory against the traveling Cherries at Goodison Park Sunday.

Although the top flight’s survival has yet to be assured, Everton confirmed on Tuesday that Doucoure would remain at the club until June 2024, with his contract initially set to expire at the end of the season.

The Mali international has become a key figure in Dyche’s fight against the drop, with four goals and two assists since March.

The industrious midfielder enjoyed a more advanced role under Dyche, alongside defensive anchors Idrissa Gueye and Amadou Onana in the engine room.

His first-half brace against Brighton two weeks ago helped the Toffees to a decisive 5-1 victory at the Amex.

Doucoure has made 94 appearances since his £20million move from Watford in 2020, scoring nine goals in total.

The 30-year-old star fell out of favor during Frank Lampard’s tenure at the club but has since shown the Everton board he deserves a further season at Goodison Park.

Having previously represented the Hornets, Doucoure has played in each of the last seven Premier League seasons, racking up 24 top-flight appearances this term.

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