Celtic in the race to sign ace that Martin O'Neill rates highly

James McCarthy celebrates

Judging by Celtic’s 5-1 win over Hamilton last weekend, you’d be forgiven for thinking that Neil Lennon’s side doesn’t need strengthening.

Buoyed by the additions of Moi Elyounoussi and Vasilis Barkas, the Hoops reigned supreme on the opening weekend of the new campaign, laying down a real statement of intent.

Odsonne Edouard continued where he left off last term, scoring three times to open his account in style for the new season. 

Edouard, of course, was named Celtic’s Player of the Year in 2019/20 and as a result, is sought-after from clubs around the globe. 

Whether he departs remains to be seen, but one BBC journalist reckons he could stick around for at least one more year. 

If he does, their pursuit of ten SPFL crowns in a row will take a huge boost. If he departs, it could well open the doors for fierce rivals Rangers to pounce. 

Though, there are also other areas where Neil Lennon is looking to improve his team.

Odsonne Edouard

According to 90min, Celtic have entered the race to sign Crystal Palace midfielder James McCarthy.

They are apparently confident of signing the 29-year-old ahead of a number of Premier League clubs.

Leeds, West Ham, Newcastle and Aston Villa were credited with an interest earlier in the week but it looks as though the Hoops have now leapfrogged their competitors. 

It’s understood that Palace are open to offers for the Republic of Ireland international but no fee is mentioned.

Rated at just £3.6m per Transfermarkt, he could be quite a cheap option for Nick Hammond this summer.

James McCarthy spits

GIVEMESPORT’S Matt Dawson says…

McCarthy is a reliable figure in the middle of the park and would be a wise addition for Celtic.

After all, he’s already familiar with the Scottish game, coming through the ranks at Hamilton before moving across the border to Wigan. 

He has gone from strength to strength in England, moving to Everton and then to Crystal Palace, being dubbed a “class player” by Roy Hodgson. 

He may not be the most attractive player but he is certainly strong in the tackle, possessing the ability to win the ball back on a regular basis. 

James McCarthy vs Sheffield United

McCarthy was victorious from 2.5 challenges per match in the Premier League last term and is certainly adept in defensive scenarios. His play leaves a lot to be desired in forward areas but it’s not as though Celtic are lacking in that department. 

He also has plenty of international experience, being capped 40 times by his country. A decent portion of those appearances came under former Hoops boss Martin O’Neill.

After starring against Germany, O’Neill hailed him as a “terrific” for the way he went about his business. O’Neill has also described him as “dominant” in the past as well.

If he can recapture similar form, he’d be a shrewd signing for Celtic. 

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