Football website 90Min have claimed that Scottish champions Celtic have joined the race to sign Crystal Palace midfielder James McCarthy, but they face enormous Premier League competition for the Ireland international.
McCarthy, 29, has seemingly rid himself of his injury woes that initially saw him sidelined with a long-term hamstring problem before a double leg break during a tackle with Salomon Rondon.
His move to Palace last summer – for £8million (Mail) – has since seen him play 35 times for the Eagles. That return to form and consistency without an injury has seen clubs become interested.
90Min themselves claimed in a previous report that Leeds, Newcastle, West Ham and Aston Villa were all interested in the Glasgow-born Ireland international. However, the latest report says Celtic are confident of a deal.
All four Premier League teams are said to have made contact over a potential signing. A Celtic youth player, McCarthy is a boyhood Celtic fan and it is believed that has given Celtic confidence they can get a deal done.
TBR’s view – Brown replacement?
It remains to be seen how long Scott Brown can continue for at Celtic. Now 35 years of age, the likelihood of Brown starting every single game in the middle of the park seems unlikely – though he managed 90 against Hamilton.
The Hoops need to find themselves a long-term replacement for Brown and McCarthy, though 29 himself, is the ideal addition to Celtic’s already excellent midfield. It remains to be seen how much he will cost, though.