With Newcastle United seemingly set to, finally, sign a new striker in the next few days, with Bafetimbi Gomis close to agreeing a move to St James’ Park, Alan Pardew might be considering how to strengthen the other areas of his squad.
James McCarthy has been in the gossip columns all summer, with Roberto Martinez apparently hoping to bring the Wigan Athletic player to Everton, and Tottenham Hotspur also monitoring the 22-year-old’s situation.
Newcastle have now also been linked with McCarthy, who shone even as Wigan were relegated last year, and could be looking to return to the Premier League.
Wigan have so far set an ambitious price-tag of £20 million on the midfielder’s head, but both Newcastle and Everton are confident they could sign McCarthy for a substantially lower fee.
Although central midfield is one area where Newcastle have good options, Pardew could fear that Yohan Cabaye will be the subject of interest from either PSG, Monaco or Manchester United this summer, and McCarthy could be targeted as a replacement for the France international.
It is also true that McCarthy would be an upgrade on his existing options other than Cabaye, and Newcastle might feel that this could be their one opportunity to sign a player who was among the best young midfielders in the Premier League last year.
In particular McCarthy could replace Cheick Tiote in the Magpies’ first eleven, with the Ivorian falling dramatically out of form after an impressive start at St James’ Park. Still picking up yellow cards and suspensions with alarming regularity, Tiote is an outright liability at times, and does not have the passing range and ability on the ball that McCarthy would bring to the team.
Even after Gomis’ arrives, Newcastle are likely to continue to focus on bringing in another forward, but if they have a chance of signing McCarthy, he should be considered a priority as well, as he has the talent to have a huge impact on their side next season.
image: © illarterate