Crystal Palace midfielder James McCarthy has told The Eagles’ matchday programme – as quoted by the Record – as saying that he has always been a Celtic fan, and continues to support the Scottish champions to this day.
McCarthy, 28, joined Crystal Palace in the summer from Everton for a fee of just £3million (BBC). The Ireland international has been ravaged by injury over the last couple of seasons – including a double leg break inflicted by Salomon Rondon.
Now, the former Hamilton star is back fighting fit and has played seven times for Palace this season, remaining on the fringe of the starting eleven. He has a contract at Palace until the summer of 2022, worth £50,000 a week according to Spotrac.
McCarthy, who has picked up 41 caps for Ireland despite being born in Glasgow, has claimed that he has supported Celtic all fo his life and even attended Old Firm matches between Celtic and Rangers as a child.
“Early football for me was always playing as a kid,” McCarthy said. “I’ve always been a Celtic fan; all my family are Celtic fans “From when I was born, I’ve had the Celtic strips. Obviously as a kid, you’re always watching.
“We’d go and watch the games. My brothers used to take me. I went to quite a lot of them (games against Rangers). I was younger, maybe eight or nine. I’d always be at the game. It’s an amazing atmosphere.”
TBR’s view – McCarthy would be a stunning Celtic signing
With Scott Brown turning 35 at the end of the season, Celtic need a long-term replacement for the Hoops skipper. Kouassi Eboue is struggling, while Olivier Ntcham is too attacking – as is Callum McGregor.
Neil Lennon’s side does not currently boast Brown’s successor and when he does eventually leave, whether that is retiring or moving to the likes of Australia, America or China, he needs replacing. McCarthy would be expensive, but a good replacement.