Rafa Benitez was keen to sign Everton’s central midfielder James McCarthy in the January transfer window, but for whatever reason it just didn’t happen.
And now there’s news today that West Brom have joined Newcastle in wanting to buy the 26 year-old Republic of Ireland International this summer.
James has massive experience in England’s top flight, having played over 220 Premier League games for Wigan and Everton over the last nine seasons.
26 year-old Everton’s central midfielder James McCarthy
There were even reports late in January that Newcastle had bid £16M for the former Wigan central midfielder.
This Mirror report is that the Baggies want McCarthy to replace Scottish International midfielder Darren Fletcher, who left West Brom as a free agent this summer to join Stoke City.
West Brom are now said to be in pole position to get McCarthy, with Newcastle reported to now be unwilling to meet Everton’s asking price, which is said to be n excess of £15M.
James McCarthy played only 12 times last season for the Toffees mainly due to a series of nagging injuries and he seems to have no future under Dutch manager Ronald Koeman.
In fact he has never played a full 90 minutes for the Toffees this year, so maybe his fitness is a concern to Benitez?
But if this report in the Mirror is accurate then Newcastle have been priced out of a deal for the experienced Republic of Ireland International.
And that seems a little strange if we did indeed bid £16M for this player in late January.
What do you think?