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McCarthy can become a Bhoy

Lennon interested in Eagle as Hendrick talk of Toon


TARGET: Neil Lennon is an admirer of Irish international James McCarthy

TARGET: Neil Lennon is an admirer of Irish international James McCarthy

TARGET: Neil Lennon is an admirer of Irish international James McCarthy

Celtic could make an attempt to bring Ireland midfielder James McCarthy back to Scotland, if they can cut a deal with Crystal Palace.

And Newcastle United are now the favourites to sign Dubliner Jeff Hendrick after a reported cooling of interest from clubs in Italy.

McCarthy is only one year into a two-season contract with Palace, the Eagles paying £3m for him last year, but he had a difficult first season at Selhurst Park, starting only 16 Premier League games last season and Roy Hodgson is reportedly willing to listen to offers.


Celtic have already signed a senior international, Greek keeper Vasilis Barkas, but Neil Lennon wants to add more to his squad ahead of their Champions League qualifying campaign and he is an admirer of McCarthy.

The 28-year-old began his senior career in his native Scotland, helping Hamilton win promotion to the SPL, before a move to Wigan in 2009 and he has previously expressed a desire to play for the Parkhead club.

McCarthy's international career has been on hold due to injury and spell where he was unavailable for selection but manager Stephen Kenny has earmarked McCarthy as one of the players who could offer more to the Irish squad.

Hendrick's future is also up the air but local media in Newcastle have reported that he is now closer to a move to St James' Park, though pre-season plans at Newcastle have yet to be finalised due to uncertainty over the club's ownership and a possible takeover.

Another international potentially on the move is Richard Keogh. He has a year left on his contract at Derby County but is not expected to play for the Rams again, having been in dispute with the club over how he was treated in the aftermath of a road accident which left him ruled out for the season. Ipswich, condemned to another season in League One after a failed promotion bid last term, have been linked with Keogh (33).

Meanwhile, India has emerged as the likely destination for much-travelled Irish striker Anthony Stokes. The Dubliner has been a free agent since he quit Iranian club Persepolis in March and the bizarre rumour mill in the Scottish game had linked the former Celtic and Hibs player with a move to Scottish non-league side East Kilbride.

But newly founded Indian club ATK Mohun Bagan have now expressed an interest in Stokes ahead of their debut season in India's flight. Stokes (31) has recently had spells with clubs in Greece, Turkey and Iran.