Despite Everton manager Ronald Koeman insisting that James McCarthy is a part of his plans at the club, the interest in the Republic of Ireland midfielder continues to grow. The latest links to the player come from West Bromwich Albion, with media reports saying that Tony Pulis is keenly watching to see what happens with him.
Having stupidly lost Darren Fletcher to Stoke City last week and being beaten to Morgan Schneiderlin by the Toffees in January, the Baggies are now scrambling for a Premier League level midfielder for next season.
Earlier in the season, Premier League bound Newcastle United were said to be very interested in procuring the services of the Irishman, with ridiculous numbers between £16m and £20m being thrown about.
Well, a Toon (or Baggie) and his money are soon parted and should either Newcastle or West Brom come knocking at USM Finch Farm with that kind of money in hand, then Koeman might reconsider his earlier comments about holding on to the injury-prone player.
Not to say that Koeman hasn’t derived some sort of amusement from his highly-publicized squabbles with Ireland manager Martin O’Neill over his consistent mistreatment of McCarthy and his injuries. The Irish have persisted in selecting the half-fit midfielder for international duty, often at cost of his future fitness.
The latest row erupted when McCarthy was selected to start in the game that the unfortunate Seamus Coleman had his leg broken in two places. McCarthy had been unfit for the weeks leading up to the game against Wales, and despite Koeman’s protestations, O’Neill put him in the starting XI only to see the player pull up lame with a hamstring injury in the pre-game warmup.
Seeing how well Schneiderlin has fit into the squad, and with Idrissa Gana Gueye providing to be a most astute signing at just £8m, Everton could well be rethinking whether they really want to hold on to McCarthy this summer or move on from him.