Report: Celtic want James McCarthy amid Scott Brown fears

By David Walton

August 31, 2020

Celtic want to sign Crystal Palace’s James McCarthy after initial early-season fears over Scott Brown’s performances, according to 90Min.

The report states that Brown’s form to kick-start the season has been a cause for concern at Parkhead. The Hoops are therefore looking to take McCarthy from Palace and use this as a transitional year ahead of the captain’s contract expiring next summer.

90Min also believes, however, that Celtic would have to sell one of their big-hitters in order to get a deal done for McCarthy. They mention the likes of Odsonne Edouard, Kristoffer Ajer, and Olivier Ntcham as potential saleable assets.

James McCarthy in action for Crystal Palace (Photo by Sebastian Frej/MB Media/Getty Images)

Brown, meanwhile, has started every game for Celtic this season despite a slightly concerning decline in performance-levels.

The McCarthy link also comes after the Hoops were reported to be close to signing up another Premier League talent in Shane Duffy (Daily Mail).

Turnbull is surely the man for the role

It’s difficult to see why there would be a necessity for the club to sign McCarthy after the arrival of David Turnbull. After all, the former Motherwell man cost the Hoops a fee that could rise to £3.25million (BBC).

That’s quite the investment. And at just 21 years of age, Celtic will surely see him as the long-term successor to Brown.

That’s not to say that McCarthy couldn’t be signed alongside Turnbull. However, it doesn’t make sense as to why any panic over the captain’s performances would lead to an instant rush for the Palace midfielder. Not when we’ve just splashed out a significant sum on a box-to-box midfielder already.

New Celtic signing David Turnbull (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

If Celtic were to sell another centre-mid then perhaps it would be worth going for the Ireland international. For example, Olivier Ntcham has been linked with a move to the Premier League despite having a £20m valuation (90Min).

Should a departure like that occur, then McCarthy to Celtic looks a more realistic proposition.

But it isn’t something we should go looking for. As things stand, we have Turnbull to slot in and rotate with Brown/Callum McGregor when need be. So it’s difficult to see why the club would bother moving for McCarthy at the moment.

In other news, we launch a big defence of one of Neil Lennon’s new summer recruits after some unnecessary criticism.