Everton have had a second advance of €40 million (£36.7m) for Watford midfielder Abdoulaye Doucoure rejected, according to French outlet L’Equipe.
The Hornets seemingly remain adamant in their stance that they don’t want to sell the 26-year-old, who is an integral part of the squad.
Everton reportedly had an initial bid of £30m for Doucoure turned down, and despite improving on that fee Watford refuse to be swayed into agreeing to let the midfielder depart.
He currently has four years left on his contract at Vicarage Road and featured for the Hornets in a 2-1 friendly win over Spanish outfit Real Sociedad on Saturday, as they finalised their preparations for the Premier League season.
Everton boss Marco Silva is looking to make one final central-midfield addition before Thursday’s deadline, and has identified Doucoure as a top target after working with the Frenchman during his time in charge of Watford.
The Toffees have lost Idrissa Gueye during the summer window, however they have spent in excess of £50m on replacing him with the signings of Andre Gomes, Jean-Philippe Gbamin and Fabian Delph.
Silva is keen on bringing in a further option in the middle of the park, and in Doucoure he was planning on getting hold of a dynamic midfielder who is as strong going forward as he is defensively.
The Watford powerhouse joined the club back in 2016 from French club Rennes, and has since made 102 appearances and scored 13 goals for the Premier League side.
Last season he made 40 outings for the Hornets and registered five goals, which included finding the net at Goodison Park in a 2-2 draw with the Toffees back in December.
Everton seem unlikely to wrap up a deal for Doucoure before the summer transfer window shuts at 5pm on Thursday no matter how high they go with any further bids, as Watford have no intentions of allowing a sale to happen.