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Everton closing in on midfield trio of signings

Watford want a loan player in Doucoure part exchange, Allan and Rodriguez nearly done

Crystal Palace v Watford - Premier League - Selhurst Park Photo by John Walton/PA Images via Getty Images

Everton are looking more and more likely to get all three of the midfield players they have been linked with in recent days.

Loan player in part exchange for Doucoure?

Watford have reportedly asked for a player on loan as part of any deal for midfielder Abdoulaye Doucoure.

The Liverpool Echo reports the two clubs remain ‘locked’ in talks for the 27-year-old, who Watford value in the region of £30m.

The Hornets’ relegation and Doucoure’s apparent desire to move to Goodison Park should strengthen Everton’s negotiating position, so they will naturally look to knock that price down.

Sending a player to Vicarage Road on loan would be the natural compromise, benefitting both clubs.

The question is who?

Jarrad Branthwaite has previously been mentioned. The 18-year-old impressed in his fleeting appearances for the Toffees at the tail end of last season and would certainly benefit from a full year playing regularly in the Championship. Much would likely defend on Everton’s ability to recruit another centre-back, unless Lewis Gibson, who spent the second half of last season out on loan at Fleetwood, becomes part of the senior squad (or goes out on loan himself).

Jonjoe Kenny spent last season at Schalke and could be a contender to go out on loan again, though Everton would likely prefer to either cash-in on the 23-year-old or keep him as back-up to Seamus Coleman.

Then there is someone like Tom Davies who, despite being a regular in the Toffees side, struggled last season and will likely be squeezed out of the team by the arrival of at least two new central midfielders this summer.

Then there are those on the periphery of the squad who the club cannot seem to move on - Yannick Bolasie, Sandro et al. They may also be used as a sweetener in any deal.

My preference would probably be one of the younger players such as Branthwaite, as the experience he will gain can only benefit Everton in the longer term, while also smoothing the path for a much needed midfielder to arrive and plug that gaping hole in the Toffees’ side.

Allan close, Rodriguez deal ‘agreed’

There have been a fresh round of rumours regarding Allan and James Rodriguez.

It seems a deal for Allan is all but agreed (as was reported yesterday). The latest reports today from Corriere dello Sport via Sport Witness claim a base fee of €30m (£26.8m/$35.7m) has been agreed, with only bonuses to be ironed out, and personal terms already confirmed.

Alan Myers revealed that Juventus had come in with a late player-plus-cash bid, but the Brazilian is keen on a reunion with Carlo Ancelotti.

This deal has dragged on in true Everton fashion, but it does seem like a conclusion is finally in sight.

Meanwhile, Italian journalist Tancredi Palmeri reports Everton have agreed personal terms with James Rodriguez, with the Colombian set to earn around £4m a year in wages, roughly £77,000 a week, at Goodison Park.

The sticking point now is (as always) the fee, with Real Madrid wanting around €25m (£22.3m/$29.7m) for the 29-year-old, while the Toffees are working to try and knock that figure down.