Aston Villa make approach for £13m PL midfielder - report
By Matt Farr
Aston Villa have entered the race to sign Everton midfielder James McCarthy this month, according to a report.
The Daily Mail claim that Steve Bruce has added the Republic of Ireland international to his wishlist, and has enquired over his availability this week.
McCarthy has grown unsettled at Goodison Park this season, having made just eight appearances in all competitions.
The former Wigan player was signed by Everton for £13million in 2014 and was a regular starter before Ronald Koeman took the reins last summer.
McCarthy is currently recovering from a hamstring injury, but could leave the club if Everton succeed in their attempts to land Morgan Schneiderlin.
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The Sun reported on Friday that the Toffees had agreed personal terms with the Manchester United midfielder, who was due to undergo a medical, but that a fee that had yet to be agreed between the two clubs.
Aston Villa boss Steve Bruce is keen to add midfield reinforcements to his squad ahead of their promotion push during the second half of the campaign, and has lined-up the Premier League ace as a candidate.
Bruce is also keen on signing Nottingham Forest’s Henri Lansbury, but the Mail reports that they are yet to hear the outcome of their £3 million offer.
With the Lansbury deal stalling, Bruce hopes he can make progress in a potential deal for McCarthy, who is also on the radar of West Brom.
However, McCarthy would not come to Villa Park on the cheap, and Bruce may be forced into selling one or two players to accommodate his arrival and meet financial fair play regulations.
Football Insider verdict
McCarthy would be a fantastic signing for Aston Villa, and it would be a real statement of their intentions tor return to the Premier League. He’s had a few injury concerns to deal with in his Everton career, but he is more than good enough to warrant a regular first-team place. He is already playing second-fiddle to the impressive Idrissa Gueye and Gareth Barry, while Muhamed Besic will come back into the side when he returns from injury. The arrival of Schneiderlin, meanwhile, will surely be the end for McCarthy and he would be a central figure at Bruce’s Villa if they can find the necessary finances to complete a deal. They’ve got nothing to lose, so why not go for the deal.
In other Aston Villa transfer news, Leandro Bacuna has delivered his verdict ahead of Villa’s clash with Tottenham on Sunday.