By Matt Farr
Everton midfielder James McCarthy will not be leaving the club on loan this month, according to a report.
The Liverpool Echo claim that the Merseysiders have made the emphatic transfer decision that if the central midfielder is to leave the club during the January window, it will only be on a permanent deal.
It is also understood that Ronald Koeman prefers to keep McCarthy at the club this month, despite his lack of action, and that it would take a sizeable offer to prize him away.
The 26-year-old midfielder has made just eight appearances in all competitions this season, and has been tipped to leave Goodison Park this month.
The Liverpool Echo report that a host of clubs have shown an interest in signing the Republic of Ireland international, including West Brom and Aston Villa.
McCarthy was considered a first-team regular under former Toffees boss Roberto Martinez, but since the Spaniard’s departure, McCarthy has often cut a frustrated figure on the Everton sidelines.
Current Everton chief Ronald Koeman is looking to sign Manchester United outcast Morgan Schneiderlin in the coming weeks, and that could force McCarthy out of the club.
McCarthy appears to have won the approval of the former Southampton boss after his return from injury in December, earning back-to-back starts against Watford, Arsenal and Liverpool.
With Idrissa Gueye on Africa Cup of Nations duty for the remainder of the month, McCarthy could have an important role to play in Everton’s midfield over the next couple of weeks.
A loan move for Tom Cleverley, another Toffees fringe player linked with a January move, has also been ruled out.
Football Insider verdict
Injury problems aside, McCarthy is a very good player. The performances of Idrissa Gueye since arriving at Goodison Park in the summer has made life very difficult for McCarthy, but Koeman can surely find a way to accommodate them both in the midfield. His recent displays have done a great deal in persuading Koeman he is worth keeping on the books, and it looks as though he could be staying at the club after all. Interest in the midfielder’s services wasn’t strong enough, as the Championship sides like Villa and Newcastle faced various financial difficulties landing him on a permanent deal, and a loan move wouldn’t really benefit Everton either. The second-half of the season will be a prime opportunity to plead a further case to Koeman, otherwise he could be on the way out for good in the summer if he does not like what he sees.
In other Everton transfer news, the Toffees have tabled a bid for this African striker.