Just before the January transfer window closed, it was reported that Newcastle United had allegedly had a £16m offer for James McCarthy turned down.
Sunday morning brought further media claims, alleging that if Rafa Benitez gets the right backing from Mike Ashley, he is willing to spend around £20m to land the Everton midfielder.
Interesting though to see this below on Tuesday warning James McCarthy not to sign for NUFC, saying that ‘Newcastle is not the answer no matter how wonderful their fans can be’.
Fair enough, it is only one journalist, but his claims that because of the way Mike Ashley runs the club players should think twice (and thrice and…) before signing for Newcastle, is a perception that Rafa Benitez has to overcome.
There are claims elsewhere that Rafa is meeting Mike Ashley at the training ground late on Tuesday afternoon/night and a positive outcome from that is obviously the first step.
Then, all being well, we can rely on Rafa Benitez to start selling our wonderful club to players, just as Kevin Keegan and Sir Bobby Robson did with the likes of Shearer, Ferdinand, Lee, Ginola, Bellamy, Robert, Milner and Woodgate.
Paul Hyland writing on Independent.ie:
‘If there is one club on planet earth that James McCarthy should approach with an extra- long bargepole, it’s Newcastle United, football’s great pretenders.
Newcastle promise their mug punters hope when circumstances conspire to put a decent manager like Rafa Benitez in charge and he does his job properly.
But the game is loaded and the fans can never win.
Even now when Newcastle’s season ticket holders should be walking on air as winners and relieved that this sojourn in the Championship only lasted for nine months, they are terrified. Everyone is afraid that Benitez will walk away, tempted by a better offer or brow-beaten by Mike Ashley.
Should Benitez somehow wrestle enough cash and solid promises about who has the final say on transfers out of Ashley and then chooses to stay, it would be a brave punter who would bet any serious money on him still being manager by Christmas.
That’s the Toon and McCarthy needs to take a cold-hearted view if Benitez comes after him in the next few weeks or months and makes him an offer which would take him away from Ronald Koeman and Everton.
What McCarthy badly needs is some stability, both psychological and physiological and St James Park is the last place anyone would associate with permanence of any description.
There was been further speculation about new, wealthy investors so it is reasonable to assume that Everton is not a bad place to be.
The idea that McCarthy would swap that for a tight rope existence at Newcastle is illogical, Koeman or no Koeman.
Newcastle is not the answer no matter how wonderful their fans can be. He’ll get hero worship but that’s about as good as it gets.’
James McCarthy signed four years ago for Everton and in these four seasons on Merseyside since moving for £13m from Wigan, McCarthy has only scored six Premier League goals and got seven assists.
The scousers have signed Schneiderlin from Manchester United, Besic is coming back from injury, teenager Tom Davies has emerged as yet another potential star from their production line, so no surprise if Everton would sell James McCarthy if the money was right – especially as Ronald Koeman is also reported to be looking to bring in another midfielder this summer.
He has only started seven Premier League matches this season and hasn’t started any in over three months, making a few sub appearances in late February/early March.
However, as well as indifferent form this season, James McCarthy has had recurring hamstring complaints this campaign and is once again out injured – not featuring in the 18 man squad that lost 1-0 at Swansea on Sunday.