Republic of Ireland boss Giovanni Trapattoni has given his full backing to a possible move to Everton for Wigan Athletic midfielder James McCarthy.

The 22-year-old played under Everton boss Roberto Martinez at Wigan and the Spaniard may move for his former midfielder if Manchester United complete a deal for Marouane Fellaini before the 11pm transfer deadline.

McCarthy has earned 16 caps for the national side and is held in high regard by Trapattoni, who sees him as a vital part of Ireland's future.

The Italian said: "He is at Wigan now, but if he changes, I am sure it will be good for him to go to a more important team. With that, he can think, 'I am an important player' - that is important.

"A new possibility will be for him very, very important. One day more for this decision is important for him and also for us because he will come back happy after this situation."

McCarthy was one of the standout performers for Wigan last year as they endured a bittersweet end to the season with relegation from the Premier League following the club's historic FA Cup win against Manchester City.

The player has been continually linked with a move to Everton to join up with former boss Martinez, but nothing has materialised as yet, although that could change depending on potential outgoings at Goodison Park today.

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