According to a recent report from The Daily Mail, James McCarthy could be set for a move away in the January transfer window. The 28-year-old currently plays his football at Premier League outfit Everton and has done so since leaving Wigan Athletic back in 2013, although a lack of game time under new Toffees manager Marco Silva this season has plunged his future at the club into doubt.
And reports suggest that Fulham, West Brom, and West Ham are eyeing up a January move for the Republic of Ireland international, as should Celtic boss Brendan Rodgers as he seeks to improve his squad ahead of what looks set to be a tough Scottish Premiership title race in the second half of the season.
Ultimately, Rangers’ victory over their Old Firm rivals brought Steven Gerrard’s men level on points with the Bhoys at the summit of the Scottish top-flight, and while Rodgers’ side do still have a game in hand on the Gers, it does suggest that things are going to be a lot closer this time round.
Yes, one would probably still have Celtic as favourites to win an eighth straight league title and thus continue their overall domination of football north of the border, but there is little doubting, especially after a summer of relative inactivity, that Rodgers will need to strengthen his squad this month to fend off the threat posed by Gerrard’s Rangers.
And boyhood fan McCarthy appears to be exactly the sort of addition needed to bring greater quality in the Celtic midfield for the second half of the campaign.
The Irishman has struggled hugely with injuries in recent years but has produced several decent displays in between those injury problems, with his ability both on and indeed off the ball sure to be of keen interest to Rodgers as he seeks to develop his midfield options.
The 28-year-old is extremely good on the ball in showing calmness and composure when under pressure to keep the ball moving and thus transition from defence into attack, while he is also very tenacious off the ball in breaking up play and making several crucial blocks and interceptions – there’s a reason he has played over 200 times in the Premier League.
And given he supported Celtic as a boy, very few will know better how much it would mean to the Bhoys faithful to hold off a spirited Rangers side to win the league this term – it would arguably be Rodgers’ biggest achievement in what has already been an illustrious time at Parkhead.
However, time is very much of the essence given the reported interest from the likes of Fulham, West Brom, and West Ham – Celtic hold an ace in being the club McCarthy supported as a boy, but that must be backed up with a genuine willingness to get a deal done as soon as possible.
And given how much he’d add to Rodgers’ Celtic team, it’s a deal the Northern Irishman simply has to get done to enhance his side’s hopes of making it eight league titles in a row.
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