Everton are believed to be considering a January move for Wigan midfielder James McCarthy, in light of news that Marouane Fellaini may leave in next month’s transfer window.
The Belgian international, a stand-out performer for the Toffees this season, scoring eight goals from midfield, has been heavily linked with a switch to Chelsea and Arsenal.
While the Merseysiders are still in the hunt for Champions League football, Fellaini’s suitors from London are currently better-placed to offer him the opportunity to play on Europe’s greatest stage next season.
It has even been suggested that the Belgian ace may have played his final game for Everton, after being handed a three-match ban for head-butting Stoke defender Ryan Shawcross at the weekend.
Fellaini’s departure would leave a significant hole in the Toffees midfield and McCarthy has been mooted as a possible replacement.
Everton first team coach Jimmy Lumsden watched the Republic of Ireland international impress in action at Norwich last weekend, NSNO has reported.
Should Fellaini leave for his reported price-tag of £30million, Everton would have no problems in funding a move for McCarthy, who is thought to cost around £10 million.
However there could be complications in luring the 22-year-old away from the DW Stadium, where he is known to be happy on a long-term contract earning big wages.
McCarthy has been a key player for the Latics this season, often seen as their midfield lynchpin and he recently scored a brace in the 2-2 draw with QPR.
Born in Glasgow, he is eligible to play for the Republic of Ireland through family ties, and he has established himself as a regular fixture in Giovanni Trapattoni’s side this year.