EXCLUSIVE: Four in hunt as Palace prepare to axe summer recruit

Crystal Palace are ready to listen to offers for James McCarthy this month – and four Premier League sides are exploring the possibility of signing him, sources have told TEAMtalk.

Republic of Ireland midfielder McCarthy joined the Eagles from Everton in the summer, but he has been limited to just four starts as he has found it hard to break into their first-team set-up.

McCarthy has just 18 months left on his current deal – and they are open to offers, with a number of Premier League suitors considering an approach.

And we understand Aston Villa, Burnley, Bournemouth and Newcastle have all asked about a temporary deal for the 29-year-old, though we understand Palace would only sanction a loan if there was an agreement for the deal to become permanent in the summer.

Of the quartet, Villa look least likely having this week already agreed to sign Danny Drinkwater on loan from Chelsea.

Palace are looking at a number of deals themselves this month, so allowing McCarthy to go would help them do business.

We understand they are in the market for midfielders too and they are believed to be one of the sides looking at France international Steven N’Zonzi, whose career has stalled somewhat since a high-profile move to Roma in summer 2018.

After failing to make much of an impression in the Italian capital, the €30m signing from Sevilla was loaned out to Galatasaray for the 2019/20 campaign. But he could be allowed to move on again if Gala agree to terminate his loan spell – giving Palace hope of a potential deal.

Meanwhile, Crystal Palace’s chances of re-signing Michy Batshuayi on loan have faded after a major European suitor emerged as candidates to sign the Belgian striker.