JAMES McCARTHY has agreed a four-year contract with Celtic – 12 years after he knocked back a move to his boyhood favourites, as CQN reported yesterday.

The 30-year-old Republic of Ireland international midfielder has been a free agent is since leaving Crystal Palace at the end of last season.

McCarthy was wanted by the Hoops in 2009 when he was on the brink of leaving Hamilton Accies, but he opted to go to Wigan instead. He won an FA Cup medal when Roberto Martinez’s side shocked Manchester City at Wembley in 2013.

He was reunited with the Spaniard at Everton before joining up with the Selhurst Park club where he made 52 appearances.

McCarthy has been undergoing stringent medical tests ahead of the move being rubber-stamped, according to a report in the Daily Mail.

He will not travel with the squad to the Czech Republic for the Champions League first leg qualifier against Jablonec on Thursday, but will train on his own until his new team-mates return.

The anchorman could be seen as a direct replacement for Olivier Ntcham who left Parkhead at the weekend after four years at the club.

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