Premier League strugglers Sunderland are prepared to pursue a winter move for Everton midfielder James McCarthy. The Republic of Ireland international is a likely contender to leave Goodison this month after the Toffees agreed on the signing of Manchester United’s Morgan Schneiderlin.
McCarthy has made just seven league appearances for the Toffees this season with injuries and the lack of trust costing him a regular place under manager Ronald Koeman.
The 26-year-old has received multiple loan offers to leave Merseyside in the New Year, but according to The Liverpool Echo, the club would prefer a straight cash deal for the midfielder.
Koeman is said to be reluctant to lose the player midway through the campaign, but he would entertain thoughts of offloading McCarthy, should there be a side willing to match their £20m valuation.
The likes of Crystal Palace and Newcastle United have been credited with interest for the anchorman in recent months, and according to an Everton insider, Sunderland are the latest to enquire over the player’s services.
David Moyes’ side are willing to pay a club-record sum of around £15m for the former Wigan man, and they are hopeful of negotiating a deal in the ongoing transfer window.
Former loanee and Rubin Kazan midfielder Yann M’Vila was initially their prime target for January, but his reluctance to rejoin the club has forced them to look elsewhere.
McCarthy is currently nursing a hamstring problem which he sustained in the 1-0 league defeat to arch-rivals Liverpool last month.