Odds slashed on Newcastle signing £25m-valued ace after terms reportedly agreed on deal which could trigger domino effect
By Harry Sykes
The odds have tumbled on Newcastle United signing midfielder James McCarthy from Everton this summer, according to bookmakers.
Sky Bet priced the north-east giants at 5/6 on Tuesday evening to land McCarthy, 26, before the August transfer window cut-off.
Newcastle are the landslide favourites to secure the signature of the 41-times Republic of Ireland international, with Swansea (12/1), Leicester (14/1), and West Brom (20/1) all relatively distantly priced.
Sky Bet have dropped the price on Newcastle signing McCarthy since last week, when the odds were set at 5/4.
The drop in price comes after reports that the Magpies are firmly in the race to sign McCarthy, who was reported by the Mail on Monday to be valued at £25million.
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In addition, the Guardian reported on Tuesday night that Everton have agreed a deal to sign Gylfi Sigurdsson from Swansea for a fee of £45million, which could trigger a transfer domino effect and pave the way for McCarthy to exit.
The high price comes even though the central midfielder was only a fringe player at Everton in 2016-17, when he suffered a series of niggling injuries that prompted criticism from manager Ronald Koeman.
He was also pushed down the pecking order by the arrivals of Idrissa Gueye and Morgan Schneiderlin in the previous two windows, as well as the emergence of teenage ace Tom Davies.
Nevertheless, Newcastle boss Rafael Benitez is widely reported to be a big admirer of the player he has been strongly linked with in the last two windows.
McCarthy has made 126 appearances for Everton since joining for £13million from Wigan in 2013.
He is under contract until 2020 after signing an extension in the summer if 2015.
In other Newcastle United transfer news, the club have agreed the terms of a defender transfer as their whirlwind of activity continues.