Rafa Benitez seemed desperate to sign two players in the January transfer window and they would be on initial loan deals with an option to buy in the summer.
They were Andros Townsend of Crystal Palace and James McCarthy of Everton and certainly Newcastle will need more creativity in the side if we do manage to get promoted back to the Premier League this season.
There were even reports that Newcastle bid £16M for McCarthy with a few days left in the transfer window, but the truth of that report seems dubious since it was well reported in the local press that Rafa could only bring players in on loan last month, presumably because of financial considerations.
26 year-old Everton midfielder James McCarthy
But if we are promoted there should be plenty of cash available for Rafa to bring in some top players this summer and we were even reported after McCarthy last summer, so it seems that Rafa is keen on bringing the 41 times capped Ireland International to Tyneside.
McCarthy still seems to be having a tough season at Everton under their new manager Ronald Koeman.
And whether Newcastle can get him this summer will depend a lot on how much playing time James gets through the end of the season and so far in the Premier league he has still made only 11 appearances with one goal.
James himself has said he would be happy enough at Everton if he plays more, but if he doesn’t we have to think he will be a major target of Newcastle United this summer – always assuming we can nail down that promotion.
McCarthy has proved in the Premier League with both Wigan Athletic and Everton when his manager at both clubs was Roberto Martinez, that he is a Premier League class player who could bring both skill and experience to Newcastle’s central midfield.
The Glasgow-born player supported Celtic while growing up and he will not come cheap – maybe £20M – but if Benitez is after some class in Newcastle’s central midfield he could do a lot worse than going after the 26 year-old.
James started his career at Hamilton Academicals after trying out and being turned down by Celtic as a youngster.
He played for the first team at Hamilton for three years from 2006 before he joined Wigan Athletic in the summer of 2009.
James spent four seasons at Wigan before joining up again with Roberto Martinez at Everton back in 2013.
McCarthy has played 208 games in the Premier League so far with 13 goals and he could be one of the men Rafa brings in to improve the Newcastle squad this summer.
What do you think?