Abdoulaye Doucoure has admitted he may leave Everton next summer.
Speaking to The Athletic, the midfielder revealed that his time at Goodison Park may come to an end once his new contract expires.
Doucoure joined Everton from Watford three years ago and had looked set to leave the club this summer after falling out of favour under Frank Lampard.
The 30-year-old struggled for game time under the former manager, however the arrival of Sean Dyche launched him back into the limelight as he reclaimed his place in the starting line-up.
Doucoure proved to be one of the Toffees’ key players as they narrowly avoided relegation, featuring heavily under Dyche before netting the only goal against Bournemouth in their final match of the campaign to confirm their status in the Premier League for a further year.
Doucoure’s exceptional form earned him a new contract that will see him remain on Merseyside until at least next summer, however the Mali international has admitted he would have preferred a longer deal.
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“I was happy. It was the club’s decision,” Doucoure told The Athletic. “As I said before, I’d like to have a longer contract than one year because, in January, I’m almost free again.
“Maybe it’ll be my last season at Everton. Let’s see. I’m quite in form at the moment and happy.
“I have a good manager who understands me well and knows my quality. I want to have my best season at the club.”
Abdoulaye Doucoure could be one of a number of key players to leave Everton next summer
With Abdoulaye Doucoure turning 31 years old in January, it seems highly likely that he could leave Everton at the end of his contract. Despite his recent heroics, to extend his stay even further seems like a step in the wrong direction for the Toffees.
However, there are a number of players that could potentially join the midfielder in leaving Merseyside next year.
Alex Iwobi, Andre Gomes, Dele Alli, Jean-Philippe Gbamin, Seamus Coleman, Ashley Young and Andy Lonergan will all see their current deals expire at the end of the season. Meanwhile, Demarai Gray and Idrissa Gueye both have the option of a further year.
While a number of players could well be on their way out before the campaign even starts, Everton could be left to complete an overhaul of their entire squad if they opt against offering fresh terms to some of their stars.