Celtic transfer target James McCarthy has entered discussions on a new contract at Crystal Palace, The Sun has reported this weekend.

The Republic of Ireland international has been consistently linked with a switch to Celtic Park for years, stemming all the way back to his days as a Hamilton Academical youngster in 2009 (The Guardian).

Over the last week those links resurfaced with outlet 90min.com reporting that Celtic were confident of finally signing up the former Wigan Athletic and Everton midfielder this summer.

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Premier League sides such as Newcastle United and Aston Villa were also said to be keen but the Scottish champions felt they were in pole position to land the player and boost Neil Lennon’s options in the middle of the park.

However, it now appears that McCarthy is looking to extend his stay at Selhurst Park after making 35 appearances in his debut season at Palace (WhoScored).

 

In truth, Celtic’s need for a midfielder this summer is well down the list of transfer priorities with numerous high-performing players already competing for the position.

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Olivier Ntcham can’t even get a regular start right now and he’s been excellent over the last 12 months.

Reported Celtic target James McCarthy

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

McCarthy, now 29, would not be a bad signing by any means but Celtic really need to ensure there is adequate balance in the squad to make a push for ten-in-a-row.

Other positions, such as central defence, are far more in need of investment and hopefully Celtic can focus resources on bringing in real quality there.

In other news, Vakoun Bayo’s proposed switch to French club Toulouse has hit an unfortunate delay.

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