By Wayne Veysey

16th Jan, 2017 | 7:22pm

Odds slashed: Newcastle installed strong favourites to sign £13m PL midfielder

By Alex Stevens

Newcastle have been installed odds-on favourites to sign Everton midfielder James McCarthy during the January transfer window.

Bookmakers Sky Bet have shortened the odds on the Republic of Ireland international moving to St James’ Park before the 31st January cut-off to 8/11.

Newcastle are placed well ahead of second favourites Celtic, who are 12/1 to land McCarthy, who is aged 26. Crystal Palace (14/1) and Sunderland (18/1) are more distant in the betting.

The midfielder has been a fringe player at Goodison Park since Ronald Koeman was appointed manager last summer after being a regular under Roberto Martinez.

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.

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

McCarthy, who has been capped 41 times by the Republic of Ireland, has made just nine appearances in all competitions this season spread across 540 minutes of action.

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

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