Tottenham lead the chase for James McCarthy, Wigan want £20m [Sunday Times]

The Sunday Times’ Jonathan Northcroft reports that several Premier League clubs are battling for the signature of Wigan’s James McCarthy.

Northcroft writes:

Tottenham lead the race to sign James McCarthy from Wigan, though the relegated club want £20m for the prized 22-year-old midfielder.

He was in the top 10 Premier League players in terms of passes completed and created 36 chances despite playing in a struggling side.

Everton and Fulham are known to be interested, while McCarthy is also on the radar of Arsenal, Manchester City, Newcastle and Southampton. He was previously the subject of a bid by Liverpool.

James McCarthy is widely considered to be the best midfielder in the Irish national team having shone at the Latics over the past two season.

An excellent passer and creative midfielder, FA Cup winner McCarthy is still a burgeoning talent who many are hoping can become a star of his generation. £20m, however, is a rich price for a diamond in the rough.

The high fee seems be a product of supply/demand. Wigan know that McCarthy has many suitors – Fulham have already had an £8 million bid turned down – and Arsenal, Everton, Manchester City, Newcastle and Southampton are all said to want the Irishman. Dave Whelan is taking advantage of the situation and driving a hard bargain.

Should McCarthy arrive at White Hart Lane, Scott Parker’s exit should be forthcoming.

James McCarthy’s match highlights against Manchester United last season can be seen below.