By Wayne Veysey

16th Jan, 2017 | 10:08pm

Newcastle fans react as club installed hot favourites to sign 41-times international

By Alex Stevens

Newcastle have been installed hot favourites to sign James McCarthy from Everton this month – and fans would love to sign him move to St James’ Park.

The odds were slashed during Monday on the 41-times Republic of Ireland international transferring to Rafael Benitez’s team by the 31 January cut-off.

Following a wave of bets, bookmakers Sky Bet shortened the odds on McCarthy, 26, moving to Newcastle this month to 8/11 by Monday night.

Benitez’s side are placed well ahead of second favourites Celtic, who are 12/1 to land McCarthy, clear of Crystal Palace (14/1) and Sunderland (18/1).

Newcastle fans are keen for Benitez to revamp the club’s midfield even though the team are riding high at the top of the Championship.

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Supporters have been particularly critical of ex-Sunderland man Jack Colback this season, while Cheick Tiote is on the verge of moving to Sporting Gijon in Spain.

A broad section of the Newcastle faithful believe McCarthy would be an upgrade on the many of the current central midfielders available to Benitez and are excited at the possibility of the club signing him this month.

Here is a selection of their messages on Twitter:

McCarthy joined Everton from Wigan in the summer of 2013 for a fee of £13million and has made 122 appearances for the Merseysiders, scoring five goals.

But he has been on the fringes under Ronald Koeman since Idrissa Gueye was signed from Aston Villa last summer to form a regular central midfield partnership with Gareth Barry.

McCarthy, who has made just nine appearances in all competitions this season spread across 540 minutes of action, has slipped even further down the pecking order at Goodison following the signing of Morgan Schneiderlin from Manchester United last week for an initial £20million rising to £24million.

In other Newcastle transfer news, the club are ironing out the final details of a landmark midfielder deal.

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