According to 90min, Celtic and Newcastle are interested in taking James McCarthy off Crystal Palace’s hands.
Steve Bruce is said to be an admirer of the Republic of Ireland international, and has tried to sign him numerous times.
In our view, the Eagles should offload the 30-year-old for the sake of another Crystal Palace player – Jaïro Riedewald.
How does the Dutchman come into this?
Well, while McCarthy isn’t directly blocking the former Ajax man’s first-team opportunities, he is a competitor for the same position as Riedewald.
The ex-Everton man has made four Premier League starts this term, whereas the Eagles No.44 has made six.
McCarthy is just another midfielder among many who is presumably banging down Roy Hodgson’s door for game-time.
Riedewald is probably doing likewise.
In that respect, if it came down to which of the two stays, we would choose the Netherlands international.
Why? Well, Riedewald is six years younger than McCarthy, and is arguably the future of Palace’s midfield alongside Eberechi Eze.
The south Londoners already have a very old squad, so younger players must take priority – those already at the club, and those on Dougie Freedman’s list of targets as well.
For the purpose of ensuring Riedewald gets more game-time, we think Palace should let McCarthy leave if Celtic or Newcastle firm up their interest with a bid.