Everton have rejected a £16 million offer from Newcastle United for midfielder James McCarthy. The Republic of Ireland player has found himself on the periphery of the Blues first team this season as injuries have limited his appearances.
His prospects have not improved in January as the arrival of Morgan Schneiderlin and the emergence of Tom Davies has left him further down the pecking order. McCarthy has subsequently been linked with a move away from the club before Tuesday’s transfer deadline.
The most likely destination had appeared to be Celtic, managed by former Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers, with the Scottish champions linked with his signature since the summer.
However, it is Newcastle United who have made the first move to lure McCarthy away from Goodison Park. According to the Daily Mail, Rafa Benitez’s side have seen a £16 million bid for his services turned down by Everton.
The newspaper reports that chairman Bill Kenwright has told the Magpies, who are currently second in the Championship that the midfielder is not for sale. It is in line with what majority owner Farhad Moshiri had said in the summer insisting that the Blues would keep McCarthy over chasing Moussa Sissoko.
That seems an odd notion though. £16 million is a £3m profit on the price the Blues paid Wigan for McCarthy back in 2013 and would represent a good deal for a man who is now a squad player at best.
Whether the Magpies return with an improved offer to try and tempt Everton into McCarthy go before the window slams shut next week.