There was encouragement for James McCarthy last weekend regarding his future at Everton. The 26-year-old started his side's 1-1 draw against Swansea, though was replaced was Kevin Mirallas with 20 minutes remaining. It was his first start in the Premier League for three months.
It will be interesting to see if McCarthy remains in Ronald Koeman's plan in the coming month. If he does not, the player has options.
According to The Herald (that's the Scottish version), Brendan Rodgers wants to bring the midfielder to Celtic on loan in January. The loan would be made with a view to a permanent deal being inked during the summer - if all parties can come to an agreement.
There could be some roadblocks for Celtic though.
Interest from English sides - such as Sunderland and Stoke could allow McCarthy to remain in the Premier League. Newcastle - almost certain to be promoted to the Premier League at the end of the season - are also keeping an eye on McCarthy. Newcastle have the added lure of Rafa Benitez as manager. The Spaniard has the club playing some excellent football in the Championship this season.
If McCarthy does decide a move to Celtic is for him, it would, according to the Herald, mean Everton still paying the majority of his reportedly £70,000 a week wages for the duration of the temporary deal. Celtic may have to hand over a loan fee as a result.
From a selfish Irish point of view, it would be good to have McCarthy playing regular first team football with two crucial home qualifiers against Wales and Austria coming up prior to next summer. Going by the trend of the season so far, it does not look like that will happen at Everton.
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