By Harry Sykes

Newcastle United are preparing to table a bid for Everton midfielder James McCarthy, according to a reliable journalist.

Bleacher Report correspondent Dean Jones has claimed on his personal Twitter account that the Magpies are set to make a formal offer for the 26-year-old.

This comes after Jones recently reported that Everton have slapped a £25million price tag on the Republic of Ireland international even though he was a fringe player under Ronald Koeman last season.

He also claimed there was interest from West Brom and Leicester but it appears that Newcastle are set to make the first move to sign a player they have long been linked with.

McCarthy had a frustrating 2016-17 campaign due to a series of niggling injuries that prompted criticism from manager Ronald Koeman.

Newcastle boss Rafael Benitez is widely reported to be a big admirer of the player even though he made just 13 appearances for Everton last season, spread across 678 minutes of action.

Koeman has also bought two new central midfielders in the last two windows, with Morgan Schneiderlin and Idrissa Gueye both making strong impressions since joining from Manchester United and Aston Villa respectively.

With Tom Davies also nailing down a regular spot in midfield, it appears that McCarthy, who joined from Wigan for £13million in the summer of 2013, is now surplus to requirements.

He is under contract at Everton until 2020.

In other Newcastle United transfer news, the club have agreed the terms of a defender transfer as their whirlwind of activity continues.

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