Newcastle United are back on the trail of Irish midfielder James McCarthy and could land him for nothing this summer, TEAMtalk can reveal.
Crystal Palace have told McCarthy, and a number of players who are out-of-contract, that decisions on their futures will not be made until they have their manager situation confirmed. Roy Hodgson is also out of contract at the end of the season and it appears he won’t be in charge next season.
McCarthy, 30, is open to staying at Palace but he also has other options available to him.
Celtic remain very keen, but like at Palace they are not making a firm decision until they have finalised their plans for manager.
They have already held talks with McCarthy and came close to agreeing terms in January, but that deal was not finalised.
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Now we can reveal that Newcastle are looking closely at a player they have followed for a number of years.
Burnley are also keen to hold talks with the former Everton star.
Newcastle, West Ham target Saints midfielder
Mario Lemina is wanted by West Ham and Newcastle after his loan spell with Fulham, according to a report.
Lemina joined Fulham for the 2020-21 season on loan from Southampton. After spending the previous campaign at Galatasaray, it marked a return to English football. It looks like it will end in relegation for Lemina but he has done relatively well on an individual basis.
Therefore, he is attracting interest for a permanent transfer away from Southampton. It seems Fulham would struggle to complete the deal if they went down, but Lemina has two Premier League suitors.
According to the Guardian, West Ham and Newcastle are considering moves for the Gabon international. Both clubs have apparently made contact with his representatives.
Southampton want £7m for the midfielder, who still has a contract with them until 2022. They have little intention of re-integrating him for the final year of that deal, so will look to sell.
Letting him go for that fee would represent a significant loss on their once-record signing. He cost them more than £15m in 2017 but now they want him off the books.
West Ham could offer him the chance to stay in London after his spell with Fulham. Alternatively, he could head north for Newcastle.
After managing 25 appearances in the Premier League this season, Lemina seems to have taken his second chance in England. At the age of 27, he will now be keen to find a permanent home.