Mali international Cheick Doucoure is the primary transfer target of a handful of Premier League sides, with quartet Aston Villa, Arsenal, Crystal Palace and Southampton all considering an offer for the Lens midfielder. Doucoure has been with the Ligue 1 side since 2018, and has informed his agent that he would like a new challenge.
Having helped Lens back to Ligue 1 two seasons ago, Doucoure has progressed to become a first-team regular at the heart of the Lens midfield. Comfortable playing in central defence, defensive midfield or in the centre of midfield, the 22-year-old has 8 caps for the Mali national team.
It is understood that Aston Villa and Crystal Palace first expressed interest in the player last month, and this week both Arsenal and Southampton have been in contact with Lens regarding the player’s availability. Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has hinted that signing another defensive midfielder remains a top priority.
With two years remaining on his contract at the French club, expect any potential suitor to pay around 20 million euros to secure a transfer.