Celtic have registered their interest in Crystal Palace star James McCarthy – but may have to wait until the summer to get him.
The midfielder, 30, has been on the fringes of Roy Hodgson’s side this season although he was recalled to the starting XI for the 4-0 defeat against Man City last weekend.
A recruitment source has told Football Insider that Celtic are keeping tabs on Glasgow-born McCarthy’s situation as they look to strengthen their midfield.
Manager Neil Lennon is keen to bolster in the middle of the pitch this month but the Hoops will not over-spend with their 10-in-a-row hopes all but over.
McCarthy’s return to the Palace side mean Hodgson could look to keep him until the end of the season.
The former Everton and Wigan Athletic ace is out of contract at the south Londoners in the summer and will then be available on a free transfer.
A bargain deal would appeal to cash-conscious Celtic, who are likely to sell star players before investing in their squad.
One of those expected to leave – potentially even in January – is Olivier Ntcham.
Football Insider revealed earlier this week that Celtic have given the French midfielder the green light to move before the January window shuts.
McCarthy is an experienced international and Premier League player with 42 Republic of Ireland caps as well as 263 top-flight games under his belt.
Encouragingly for Celtic’s hopes of signing him, he is also a lifelong fan of the club.