Report - £20 million gets United, Chelsea and Arsenal target

Whichever team comes up with £20 million, gets Wigan star James McCarthy. Is he worth it?

McCarthy’s performances under Roberto Martinez last season were superb and led the midfielder to be described as possibly the most underrated midfielder in the division.

His form has sparked all sorts of rumours with Manchester United, Arsenal, Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur all thought to be interested in signing him.

A variety of reports in he recent past have all suggested a figure of £20 million will get McCarthy, which is a risk that the big clubs have to weigh up taking.

Those rumours have gone cold following Wigan’s massive valuation of the player, which raises the question of whether any of those big sides will take a big risk in paying that much for the star.

McCarthy was one of the only midfielders last season to start all 38 league games for his club and since Wigan have been relegated down to the Championship, he now seems destined for a move away.

That record of starts last season shows how consistent he can be at the top level and it’s also important to remember that he played in the winning FA Cup side as Wigan outplayed Manchester City in the final at Wembley.

The dilemma for the big clubs apparently interested is where to put their money because it can be used more effectively or in other areas.

The obvious case of buying a more established star ahead of McCarthy is the fact that the Wigan man would be a gamble and there are questions over whether he could do it all over again for a bigger club or flop like Jordan Henderson at Liverpool.

The transfer market is also poised to see some big moves this summer, which will require certain sides to conserve the cash they do have available in order to finance those transfers.

All of the big sides interested in him could use a fresh holding player who can also get forward and tie in with the attack, maintaining pressure over the opposition and that’s exactly what McCarthy can do.

The price is just a simple result of Wigan trying to protect their interest and retain one of the best players but it’s also a result of the market at the moment, where teams generally have to now pay more than a player may be worth to get him. 

Dave Whelan is a tough negotiator, as he proved last season, keeping Chelsea honest in their pursuit of Victor Moses.

It’s the same sort of fee that has been quoted for a player like Wesley Sneijder, formerly of Real Madrid and Inter Milan.

Completely different players yes, but it's interesting context illustrating just how sky-high McCarthy's valuation is.

Wigan have probably priced him just a little over the top but £20 million gets him and at the moment it’s anyone’s guess as to who will bite. Perhaps, at that price, he may just still be playing in the Championship when August arrives.

Would you pay £20 million for McCarthy? Is he worth that?

image: © illarterate

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