BRENDAN RODGERS has been linked with Celtic fan James McCarthy, Everton’s Republic of Ireland midfielder and is now closing in on a deal now that his first Champions League target has been met.
The Hoops boss, after the £22million Champions League windfall, is on the look-out for new talents as he seeks to strengthen his first team squad for the rigours that are ahead.
McCarthy is understood to be high on the Irishman’s radar, but the Parkhead gaffer is keeping tight-lipped on prospective targets.
Speaking of the possibility of new faces, either permanent or temporary, he said: “There is a bit of time to do some more and we’ll take some time over the next days to reflect on that and, hopefully, make some improvements.
“There is a bit of work to do. We’d obviously spoken about if qualification happens what it is we need, but the most important thing for Celtic is that it keeps improving what we have and keeping that momentum.
“Our club has built great momentum in a short period of time and we have to keep moving forward.
“That’ll mean bringing players in who will improve us, but we have done an awful lot of great work in this market.”
McCarthy, who was born and raised in Glasgow, was watched by Celtic several times when he was with Hamilton. However, no deal was done and he was whisked south by Roberto Martinez to Wigan in July 2009 in a £1.2million deal.
The Spaniard took him to Everton for £12million four years later – a record fee for the Goodison Park outfit. However, Martinez’s successor, Ronald Koeman, may allow the 25-year-old midfield anchorman to leave on a season-long loan deal. Everton are understood to be keen on transfer rather than a loan deal and would have to cut their losses to make this happen.
Koeman is believed to have told McCarthy that he is unlikely to feature in the Everton side this season as he is not part of the Dutchman’s immediate plans for the team.
Celtic missed out on signing the player before his move to England when the then Celtic manager Tony Mowbray opted for some different and ultimately unsuccessful transfer alternatives.