According to a recent report from Eurosport, Celtic are chasing Crystal Palace midfielder James McCarthy in January.
It’s claimed that the Hoops have been eyeing a move for the 30-year-old Glaswegian for several months.
McCarthy is also reportedly well aware of the interest coming in his direction from Parkhead and is apparently open to a move away from Selhurst Park due to a lack of game time this season.
Roy Hodgson has some tough decisions to make regarding several Palace players, including Belgian striker Christian Benteke, who have already entered the final few months of their contracts.
McCarthy has been a loyal servant of the club for many years now but the Scotsman could be off, with the Scottish Premiership champions seeing him as a capture in the next window.
Should McCarthy leave south London for the north of the border as is expected in January, Hodgson will need to find a replacement who is capable of filling the void left by his potential exit.
If McCarthy does indeed depart Selhurst Park, Palace’s long-term target and Fenerbahce midfielder Ozan Tufan could be the ideal option to provide a box-to-box presence in the midfield.
The Eagles were originally linked with a move for the 55-cap Turkey international in 2018, and he recently revealed he came very close to moving to Selhurst Park after a bright start to his career at Sukru Saracoglu Stadium before a deal collapsed at the last second.
He told Goal: “Crystal Palace had showed a real interest in me a few years back and I nearly signed for them. We even had our plane tickets to England. But right before the day we planned to fly to England, Crystal Palace’s Sako got injured.
“The board had an emergency meeting and they decided to sign a replacement for him. So my move failed. They signed Alexander Sorloth instead of me. The details on this are not widely known but yes, it happened to us.”
Reports in recent times from Turkey have reaffirmed those links to Palace, amid interest from Premier League rivals Everton and Fulham.
Valued at £9m via Transfermarkt, in 13 appearances in the Super Lig this season, the 25-year-old monster has scored four goals and supplied two assists, while he is averaging 1.2 tackles, 1.3 interceptions, 1.8 shots and at least one key pass per game, via WhoScored. Not bad, not bad at all.
In contrast, even McCarthy has only mustered 0.2 shots and 0.2 key passes on average per game in the Premier League, as per WhoScored, albeit he has suffered an injury-disrupted campaign.
Proving both capable of playing at the back or in the midfield, Tufan could become a vital asset for this current Palace side, especially when you consider the fact McCarthy looks likely to leave Selhurst Park.
AND in other news, Crystal Palace must avoid signing Fiorentina striker Christian Kouame in January…