CELTIC have been alerted to the news James McCarthy wants to quit Everton next month.

The Republic of Ireland midfielder came close to joining his boyhood favourites before leaving Hamilton for Wigan in a £1.2million move in July 2009.

Brendan Rodgers has admitted he is looking to do business during the January sales and the middle of the park is an area he is looking to strengthen.

The Hoops boss just missed out on Scotland international James Morrison during the August transfer window after making a last-ditch move for the West Brom star.

McCarthy has been used sparingly by new Goodison gaffer Ronald Koeman although he started the 3-2 weekend defeat at Watford, the club’s fifth game without a win.

The 26-year-old Glaswegian does not envisage a future on Merseyside and his desire to move could also trigger interest from top-flight sides Spurs, Crystal Palace and West Brom as well as Championship outfit Aston Villa.

McCarthy agreed an extension with Everton last season and his current contract runs until June 2020.

His former boss at Wigan, Roberto Martinez, splashed £13million to take the player to the club in the summer of 2013.

The Spaniard was sacked at the end of last season and replaced by Southampton manager Koeman.

Celtic are likely to receive a cash windfall if Virgil van Dijk gets a move from Southampton in January.

Liverpool were early favourites to sign the big Dutchman but have now dropped out of the expected bidding war.

His potential suitor include Everton and Manchester United but Man City may be in greater need and obviously money is no object the the mega rich club that has fallen behind Celtic on four occasions since September.

The Celtic windfall from a Van Dijk transfer should be enough to meet the Everton asking price for James McCarthy.
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