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Newcastle and Celtic among clubs eyeing Crystal Palace’s James McCarthy


Exclusive – Newcastle United are set to make an offer for Crystal Palace midfielder James McCarthy this month, Magpies boss Steve Bruce, a longtime admirer of the Ireland international.

Bruce has tried to sign McCarthy several times during his career and is keen to strengthen his current options in the central midfielder. The fact that the player is set to be out of contract at Palace at the end of the season only adds to his possible availability.

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McCarthy has played 261 Premier League appearances | Sebastian Frej / MB Media / Getty Images

Matty Longstaff has returned to Newcastle midfielder in recent weeks, while Bruce has relied on Isaac Hayden for much of the campaign so far. Jeff Hendrick can play both right and center and Sean Longstaff and Jonjo Shelvey are others at Bruce’s disposal.

But the Magpies have lacked a stable midfielder all season.

90 mins has learned that Scottish champions Celtic are also interested in McCarthy and are ready to open talks on a move to Glasgow. McCarthy, who represents Ireland internationally through his grandfather, even supported Celtic as a child.

But Celtic are struggling to come up with a suitable offer that would prompt the 30-year-old to return to Scotland – where he started his career with Hamilton – due to the wealth potentially available to him by remaining in the Premier League.

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McCarthy represents Ireland but was born and raised in Scotland | Alexander Hassenstein / Getty Images

90 mins understands that it’s not just Newcastle who are interested in England with Burnley, Sheffield United and West Brom also being attached to McCarthy, which gives him plenty of possible options.

The current Palace club are even open to him staying at Selhurst Park, although the Eagles have yet to decide what kind of contract they would be ready to offer him.

McCarthy established himself as a Premier League-caliber midfielder with Wigan and went on to play for Everton until various injuries, including a broken leg in 2018, limited his impact.

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McCarthy made a name for himself in the Premier League with Wigan | Paul Thomas / Getty Images

He joined Palace in 2019 and made 33 Premier League appearances last season. But while injury hit him again in 2020/21, the player has returned to Matchday’s Squads in recent weeks.

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