Exclusive – Newcastle United are ready to make an offer for Crystal Palace midfielder James McCarthy this month, with Magpies boss Steve Bruce a long-term admirer of the Irish international.
Bruce has tried to sign McCarthy on a number of occasions during his career and is keen to bolster his current options in central midfield. The fact that the player is on course to be out of contract at Palace at the end of the season only adds to his possible availability.
Matty Longstaff has returned to the Newcastle midfield in recent weeks, while Bruce has relied on Isaac Hayden for much of the campaign so far. Jeff Hendrick can play both on the right and centrally and Sean Longstaff and Jonjo Shelvey are others at Bruce’s disposal.
But the Magpies have lacked a settled midfield all season.
90min has learned that Scottish champions Celtic are also interested in McCarthy and are ready to open talks about a move home to Glasgow. McCarthy, who represents Ireland internationally through his grandfather, even supported Celtic as a child.
But Celtic are struggling to come up with a suitable offer that would tempt the 30-year-old to head back to Scotland – where he started his career with Hamilton – because of the riches potentially available to him by staying in the Premier League.
90min understands that it is not just Newcastle showing interest in England, with Burnley, Sheffield United and West Brom also keen on McCarthy, giving him plenty of possible options.
Current club Palace are even open to him staying at Selhurst Park as well, although the Eagles are yet to decide what kind of contract they would be willing to offer him.
McCarthy established himself as a Premier League calibre midfielder with Wigan and later starred for Everton until various injuries, including a broken leg in 2018, limited his impact.
He joined Palace in 2019 and made 33 Premier League appearances last season. But while injury has once again affected him in 2020/21, the player has returned to matchday squads in recent weeks.