By Wayne Veysey

11th Dec, 2016 | 6:43am

Aston Villa in scrap to sign £13m proven Premier League midfielder in January - report

By Harry Sykes

Aston Villa are scrapping with Premier League big hitters to sign James McCarthy from Everton in the January transfer window, according to a report.

The Daily Record claim the Championship club are battling with Tottenham, West Ham and Crystal Palace, as well as Scottish giants Celtic, to land the central midfielder.

It is said that McCarthy wants to quit Everton after being frozen out for most of the season by Ronald Koeman at Goodison Park.

The 41-times-capped Republic of Ireland international started for Everton in their 3-2 defeat to Watford on Saturday but it was just his fifth appearance of the season in all competitions.

McCarthy joined Everton from Wigan for £13million in 2013 and has a proven track record in the Premier League, making 210 appearances in the competition in total.

Subscribe to Football Insider TV now

Villa are keen to strengthen their squad in the January transfer window, with manager Steve Bruce making it clear he is in the market to beef up his 13th placed team.

The Midlands giants continued their resurgence under Bruce by beating Wigan 1-0 on Saturday thanks to a late Jack Grealish goal.

Football Insider verdict:

Villa have the resources to prise disillusioned Premier League players, as they demonstrated when signing Mile Jedinak from Crystal Palace in the summer. Jedinak has settled in well at the club, but Villa are still lacking in the central midfield battleground and the energy and commitment of a player like McCarthy would be a major asset to Bruce’s team. Villa are keen to strengthen their side in January and a concerted move for the midfielder would make sense.

In other Aston Villa news, disgusted fans piled into a senior player after his display against Wigan on Saturday.