According to TEAMtalk, Celtic are interested in signing James McCarthy from Crystal Palace, but the Eagles simply can’t afford to let their midfield diamond go.
The Bhoys want to bring McCarthy back to his hometown of Glasgow as they apparently see him as the obvious successor to club captain Scott Brown. Neil Lennon’s side have struggled for consistency so far this season, having lost two out of their last three games in all competitions.
However, they may have a tough task trying to prise McCarthy away from Selhurst Park, as a number of Premier League clubs have reportedly taken an interest in the Republic of Ireland international, including Burnley and Aston Villa.
The 30-year-old, who has played for Hamilton Academical in the past, is arguably exactly what Celtic need, although Lennon has previously warned his players that they can’t live off of their former glories, which implies that he doesn’t want to sign players who will be approaching the twilight of their careers.
But from Palace’s point of view, Roy Hodgson simply can’t afford to lose his midfield enforcer.
Reunited with his old comrade James McArthur at Selhurst Park, McCarthy has turned out to be a shrewd signing since he arrived at the Eagles from Everton for £3m, after six seasons at Goodison Park.
Together, the ex-Hamilton pair have helped Hodgson’s side cement their place in the Premier League
McCarthy has played a combined 261 games in the Premier League for Palace, Everton and Wigan, winning 88 games and losing 104. On average, he produces nearly 42 passes per match, showing he is an important part of the supply chain for the likes of Jordan Ayew, Michy Batshuayi and Wilfried Zaha.
Whilst this might not seem like a lot, only Luka Milivojevic averages more passes per game from the midfield, which shows precisely what Hodgson has to work with.
Valued at £4m via Transfermarkt, it would make little sense to essentially let him leave for a small profit, especially when you consider the fact that these kinds of numbers would be incredibly hard to replace in a winter transfer window that seems more uncertain than ever before, given the current unprecedented circumstances clubs are currently operating in.
Palace’s form has been patchy at best so far, as a promising start to the season – which saw Hodgson’s side stun Manchester United at Old Trafford – has quickly tailed off, with three defeats in their last four fixtures in the league.
It goes without saying that his potential departure would be a total disaster for Parish but a major coup for Celtic.