Aston Villa should rekindle interest in former £20m target James McCarthy
After 11 months out with a broken leg, James McCarthy is closing in on a return to action, BBC Sport reports.
McCarthy is a former target for Aston Villa, with The Birmingham Mail previously reporting that the Villans were chasing the £20m-rated midfielder.
And Aston Villa should rekindle their interest in McCarthy in the January transfer window to bolster their midfield ahead of a promotion push.
The 28-year-old is unlikely to get much game time at Everton with Idrissa Gueye, Andre Gomes, Tom Davies, Gylfi Sigurdsson, Kieran Dowell and Morgan Schneiderlin all vying for starting spots.
But at Aston Villa, he could play a crucial role as a holding midfielder in Dean Smith’s promotion push.
Aston Villa’s current holding midfield options include Mile Jedinak and Glenn Whelan.
But Smith might want McCarthy to add a different option to the veteran duo.
The Republic of Ireland international is a no-nonsense, tough-tackling midfielder who could provide ideal protection for the Villa defence.
With over 200 Premier League appearances to his name, the ex-Wigan Athletic man has the experience needed to thrive in the second tier.
Obviously, it is now unrealistic for Aston Villa to spend £20m on McCarthy, or for Everton to demand that sum.
But a loan move could work for all parties; it gives McCarthy game time before Everton make a summer decision on him and immediately improves Aston Villa’s promotion prospects.