Everton: Perez move could be hijacked; Celtic keen on signing midfielder
Everton could be dealt a blow in their pursuit of Deportivo La Coruna forward Lucas Perez after reports in Spain claimed that Arsenal have joined the race for the 27-year-old.
The Toffees were thought to be at the head of the queue to sign the Spanish striker, with a £15 million bid reportedly tabled this week, but according to Spanish publication El Confidencial, they now face competition from the Gunners, who are willing to meet the player’s release clause.
Perez scored 17 times in La Liga last term and with both Arsenal and Everton looking to bolster their forward lines, Deportivo’s asking price looks to be reasonable value for money in the current market. Although he is predominantly a striker, the former PAOK man is also capable of playing out on the left, something he did often during his time in Greece, however, it is through the middle where Perez has shone brightest at Estadio Riazor over the past two seasons.
If the reports are to be believed, then this is a huge blow for Ronald Koeman as he looks to bring in cover for Romelu Lukaku before the transfer window closes next week. With the prospect of Champions League football on the table for Perez if he were to join Arsenal, Everton will have to pull out all of the stops in order to convince him to make the move to Goodison Park.
Elsewhere today, the Daily Mail claim that Celtic are interested in signing James McCarthy on loan.
The Irishman got off to a fine start to his Everton career following his move from Wigan Athletic in 2013, but has struggled to build on the early foundations put in place. The signing of Idrissa Gueye has cast doubt over his future at the club, as well as the fact that the 25-year-old has spent the first two matches of the season filling in for the injured Seamus Coleman on the right hand side of a 3-5-2.
Celtic boss Brendan Rodgers is thought to be a fan of McCarthy’s, but the report claims that the Scottish champions also face stiff competition from Newcastle United, Crystal Palace, Sunderland, Watford and Bournemouth. Despite this, a move to Celtic Park is likely to be an attractive prospect for the Glaswegian; McCarthy grew up supporting the Bhoys but was rejected by the club as a youngster. Instead, he began his career at Hamilton Academicals where his precocious ability eventually caught the attentions of former Toffees boss Roberto Martinez at Wigan. It would surely be a dream for him to play for his boyhood club so there is a possibility that there is something to this one.
Nevertheless, his departure would be a loss for Everton. If Gueye or Gareth Barry were to get injured this season then McCarthy would be the natural replacement for either. With Muhamed Besic out until the new year with a knee injury, Darron Gibson is the only other senior player capable of playing in the holding role, so it would be somewhat shortsighted of Koeman if he were to allow McCarthy to leave.
Featured image: all rights reserved by craig ballantyne
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