Arsenal transfer news: Watford’s Abdoulaye Doucoure prefers Gunners move

Man Utd, Liverpool and Arsenal battle to sign Lazio defender Stefan de Vrij

Abdoulaye Doucoure Arsenal transfer news
Watford midfielder Abdoulaye Doucoure in action against Arsenal’s Mesut Ozil
(Image credit: Glyn Kirk/AFP/Getty Images)

Arsenal have won the race to sign Watford ace Abdoulaye Doucoure, reports the Daily Mirror – that is if the Gunners want the 25-year-old French midfielder.

Asked to comment on the rumours started by a French TV channel, the playmaker confessed: “It’s true that these clubs are interested but I’m at Watford for the moment and I want to finish my season well.”

When asked if any of his three suitors had particularly caught his eye, Doucoure replied: “Arsenal, because of Arsene Wenger”. Which presumably means either he sees something in the Frenchman that the rest of us stopped seeing a decade ago, or he believes the Europa League is the tournament for him.

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Premier League rivals battle for Lazio’s Stefan de Vrij

Meanwhile, the Mirror has come up with a mathematical brain-teaser with their claim that Arsenal, Manchester United and Liverpool are squaring up for a “transfer tug-of-war” over Lazio defender Stefan de Vrij.

Although the paper didn’t elaborate on how a tug-of-war works with three teams, it did say that the Dutch centre-half is “keen” on joining United.

With Jose Mourinho planning an overhaul of his back four at the end of the season, it appears a match made in heaven but the Mirror says Arsenal and Liverpool both have their eye on the 26-year-old.

One thing’s for sure, and that’s Lazio’s willingness to release De Vrij with the club’s sporting director, Igli Tare, confirming the Dutchman has turned down a new deal.

“Lazio have withdrawn the proposal we made for a new contract,” said Tare. “He has been an exemplary professional and we thank him for that, as well as what he’ll do until the end of the season. He gave a lot to the club, just as we gave a great deal to him, but our paths will divide in June.”

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