JAMES McCARTHY is so far out of the picture at Celtic he was not included in the club’s team photo yesterday.

The 32-year-old former Republic of Ireland international midfielder joined the Hoops in August 2021 as a free agent after coming out of contract at Crystal Palace.

McCarthy still has two years of his deal to run, but has not figured in Brendan Rodgers’ first-team plans since the Northern Irishman returned in June.

CELTIC 2023/24 SQUAD…and no sign of James McCarthy.

The Glasgow-born anchorman didn’t start a single game for the champions last season and was involved in a total of 62 minutes of action. His last sighting in the top side was as a substitute in the 2-1 win over St Johnstone in Perth on October 8 last year.

The unfortunate McCarthy’s time at his boyhood idolas has been punctuated with injuries which have restricted his appearances.

It was expected he would leave the club before the September 1 transfer deadline, but although the Hoops managed to offload the likes of Albian Ajeti, Ismaila Soro and Vasilis Barkas, the midfielder remained in place.

Boss Rodgers, as CQN reported last month, said: “It’s a real shame for James, because growing up he was obviously a Celtic supporter.

“I saw him a lot in the Premier League and he was a fantastic talent. He’s a great guy, but sadly a few injuries and niggles have curtailed his time here so he will be looking to move on.

HAPPIER TIMES…James McCarthy with his Celtic shirt following his arrival on August 3 2021.

”There’s been interest and his agent and the club are trying to agree on a compromise.”

McCarthy, though, is still a registered player at Celtic, but he was missing from the 33-man squad that lined up for the official team photo at Lennoxtown.

Now the question is: What’s the next move for the player who failed to realise his dream in Paradise?

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