Celtic are confident of beating four top-flight English sides to the signing of James McCarthy this summer, website 90min.com has reported.
Crystal Palace are said to be open to offers for the midfielder despite only making a move to London from Everton last summer.
Premier League new boys Leeds United, as well as Newcastle, Aston Villa and West Ham, are also credited with an interest in the Republic of Ireland international but it’s Celtic emerging as favourites.
90min reckon that the Scottish Champions fancy themselves to sign him up, with McCarthy obviously having a boyhood affinity for the club.
The interest is said to be long-term and is so advanced that Celtic have already contacted Roy Hodgson’s outfit to get the ball rolling.
The report states he has become the club’s main target as they look to add a bit more depth and quality to the midfield.
Right now Neil Lennon’s squad looks to be well-stocked in that area.
However, with Scott Brown in the twilight of his career and Olivier Ntcham unlikely to stay at Celtic for his entire career, it would be a shrewd bit of business to bring in McCarthy now while he’s available.
The 40-cap star is 29 and has the experience of elite-level football to stake a real claim for a starting spot in Lennon’s team.
He’s made over 250 appearances in the Premier League throughout his career since leaving Hamilton Accies and Scotland back in 2009 (Transfermarkt).
Will an emotional return to the country he learned his trade now occur?