Newcastle United manager Steve Bruce is set to make a cut-price move for Everton midfielder James McCarthy.
According to the Sun on Sunday, the Magpies are plotting a £5m move for the 28-year-old, who could be free to leave Goodison Park with the Toffees possessing a plethora of midfield options including summer signings Andre Gomes and Fabian Delph.
Manager Marco Silva has spent heavily in the last 18 months on building a squad at Goodison which he feels will be capable of competing for a European place, but it looks like that spending could well cost McCarthy his place in the Everton squad.
McCarthy moved to the Toffees back in 2013 after impressing for Wigan Athletic, going on to make over 100 appearances.
However, he managed only 14 minutes of game time last season under Marco Silva, and it looks like his time with Everton could well be up, as Bruce and Newcastle plan to make their move.
McCarthy’s best season came in the 2015/16 campaign when he made just under 30 Premier League appearances, averaging an impressive pass success rate of 87% during that campaign (via WhoScored).
Those sorts of stats could appeal to new Newcastle manager Bruce, with the Magpies struggling in possession last season. In the Premier League, they averaged 42.9%, the second lowest in the division.
McCarthy has been a solid enough pro for a number of seasons now and it would be a smart move by Bruce to bring someone of his ilk into the club.
He has plenty to prove having not been given much of a fair crack of the whip in recent seasons when fit, and there is no reason why he can’t get back to his best.
Ultimately, signing someone like McCarthy would add depth and quality to the middle of the park for Newcastle, with the former Wigan man proving to be someone who can keep hold of the ball.
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