Report claims Celtic came close to agreeing terms with James McCarthy in January; could still sign

By John McGinley

May 1, 2021

Celtic came close to agreeing terms with Crystal Palace midfielder James McCarthy during the January transfer window but could not finalise the deal, TEAMtalk reports.

The outlet believes the Bhoys are still keen on landing the 42-cap Republic of Ireland international, who is out of contract this summer. [Transfermarkt]

However, Newcastle United are ready to provide him with a Premier League option, as are Burnley.

McCarthy has been linked with a move to Celtic for almost the entirety of his career.

Whether at Hamilton Accies, Wigan, Everton or Palace, reported Celtic interest has never been far away.

That’s natural given his profile and boyhood fan status, but it’s never seemed particularly likely.

Now 30 and coming to the end of a contract, it seems like a now or never prospect for the midfielder.

Celtic need a midfield option but is James McCarthy the answer?

Celtic will be in need of reinforcement centrally after Scott Brown’s move to Aberdeen.

McCarthy brings a similar level of commitment to the middle of the park and has an obvious passion for the club.

With close to 270 Premier League appearances to his name, he also brings a level of experience beyond almost anyone else in the squad.

However, his fitness and injury record is questionable and that could be a concern for Celtic when considering a long-term contract.

Reported Celtic target James McCarthy / (Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt – AMA/Getty Images)

The Bhoys don’t have much room for error when it comes to recruitment this summer and can’t really afford to bring in a high earner to sit on the treatment table.

It’s also unclear whether a new manager would want to bring him to Glasgow. He does feel like a player very much in the Neil Lennon mould.

Would Eddie Howe want to sign up the Premier League man?

In other news, John Kennedy challenges Celtic players to be more ruthless in Sunday derby.