By Dominic Toner
Newcastle are preparing a sensational bid for Everton’s James McCarthy, according to a report.
The Mail claim that Newcastle are set to submit a formal offer for the 25-year-old midfielder, who has been slapped with a £20m price tag by the Premier League club.
The report details that Premier League sides Leicester, Sunderland and Crystal Palace have also shown their interest in McCarthy but have not yet placed bids.
McCarthy was left out of the Everton squad that beat Stoke 1-0 on Saturday and it is believed that Ronald Koeman wants a replacement before allowing the midfielder to leave Goodison Park.
Koeman has an array of midfielders available to him and is also looking to add another option, with a move for Newcastle’s Moussa Sissoko also possible before the transfer window shuts.
The Telegraph claim that Everton have expressed their interest in Sissoko and will hope to get a cut-priced deal for the £30million-rated midfielder.
Republic of Ireland international McCarthy has fallen down the pecking order at Everton with the arrival of Aston Villa’s Idrissa Gueye, and was even played out of position at right wing-back in the Toffees’ first two league games.
McCarthy has been a mainstay in the Everton side following his £13million move from Wigan three years ago, and still has four years remaining on his Goodison Park deal.
In the last three seasons, the former Hamilton star has made 113 league and cup encounters for the Toffees and has become popular with the Merseyside club’s fanbase.
Rafa Benitez has already persuaded several Premier League stars to drop down to the Championship this summer and aid Newcastle’s promotion push.
Notable additions Dwight Gayle and Matt Ritchie joined St James’ Park for a combined £22million to show the club’s intent on an immediate return to the top-flight.
In other Newcastle transfer news, they are close to completing their second signing in just 24 hours.