Manchester United are ready to step up their interest in Everton midfielder James McCarthy, but will face competition for his signature from Tottenham should they officially move for him.
According to Goal the youngster has caught Louis van Gaal’s eye, and although he is considered a key player for Roberto Martinez’s Toffees, the Red Devils could attempt to convince him to make a switch this summer. It’s said that his current club value his services at around £25million, which would make a deal feasible, though whether or not United would be happy to pay that figure remains to be seen.
The rise of McCarthy
Having excelled under Martinez during his time at Wigan, McCarthy followed the Spaniard to Everton last summer for a fee of around £13million - making him the second most expensive player in the Merseyside club’s history. Since then he’s gone from strength to strength in the Premier League, and forged a solid partnership with Gareth Barry last term which allowed Everton to compete with the best teams around them.
In his 34 domestic appearances at Goodison Park McCarthy showcased that he was an assured presence in the middle of the park and, unless Martinez can guarantee him that Everton will be able to compete for Champions League places, his own ambitions may point him in the direction of a move away.
It’s no secret that Van Gaal was preparing to acquire a top-class central midfielder during his first transfer window at Old Trafford, and his desire will have been further fueled by the injury sustained by Michael Carrick. The likes of Arturo Vidal and Paul Pogba may be the ones that he covets most, but the likelihood of United landing either man without the promise of European football is unlikely at best, and the departure of Antonio Conte is sure to have Juventus scrambling to maintain their best assets.
McCarthy could then be a far cheaper, and perhaps more suited, alternative, given the fact that he is proven in England’s top flight. There’s no questioning that he’d more be a signing for the future, but if Van Gaal can beat Tottenham to the punch, and then convince Martinez to sell, he could have a very promising talent on his hands.