West Brom are among a number of clubs who are in the hunt to sign central midfielder James McCarthy from Crystal Palace, according to the Daily Mail.
The newspaper claims that Burnley, West Ham, Brighton, Bournemouth and Celtic are also keen on signing the 30-year-old, who will be out of contract at the end of the season.
It is understood that Celtic are considering a pre-contract approach for McCarthy with the view to signing him when his £50,000-a-week [Spotrac] contract ends. However, any English club who wants to sign the Republic of Ireland international this month will have to reach an agreement with Crystal Palace.
Albion need new spine
Since Sam Allardyce took charge at The Hawthorns, it has become apparent that the ex-Palace manager wants to strengthen the spine of his squad.
While the addition of winger Robert Snodgrass didn’t do that, the invaluable experience and leadership skills that he’s brought to The Hawthorns make him an exception.
But in McCarthy, Albion could sign someone with bags of top-flight experience as well as add to an area of the squad that has lacked quality all season.
Ex-West Brom manager Roy Hodgson has dubbed McCarthy as a “class player” and the Daily Mail reports that the ex-Everton ace, who broke his leg against the Baggies in 2018, is a popular member of the squad at Selhurst Park.
McCarthy could offer similar attributes to Snodgrass but he’d also be an improvement on someone like Romaine Sawyers or Jake Livermore, who have struggled in the Premier League this term.
Whether McCarthy will be a good singing for West Brom or not, the Albion will have to make a move fast because Celtic can enter discussions with the Irish midfielder as soon as they want while the clock is also ticking on the January transfer window.