Ireland midfielder James McCarthy set for deadline day move to Crystal Palace
James McCarthy is close to a deadline-day move to Crystal Palace with a view to kick-starting his career again.
The Glaswegian has been out of action since breaking his leg on Everton duty last January.
He has yet to figure in a senior game under Marco Silva, missing out completely on their FA Cup defeat to Millwall when it was flagged as a chance for the midfielder to get some minutes back on the pitch.
McCarthy was on the bench for Tuesday's win at Huddersfield and speculation around the future of the in-demand Idrissa Gueye would remove a rival for his position.
Reports suggest Silva is unhappy that Gueye could be sold. Either way, it's thought likely that McCarthy will move on to Palace on loan for the rest of the season.
Celtic were interested, but his £50,000-a-week (€57,000) wages would be out of reach of the club he supported as a boy.
There is also Championship interest - most notably from West Brom - but Palace boss Roy Hodgson has eyed up McCarthy before and the opportunity to stay in the top flight appeals to the player.
He's one Irish player that should move, and there remains a possibility that Nottingham Forest will make a late move for James McClean.
They have yet to approach Stoke but the player is still believed to be in Martin O'Neill's thoughts - and the possibility of activity today has not been definitively ruled out by the various parties.
Irish-qualified Bolton teenager Luca Connell could be a longer-term transfer story.
There is a buzz building around Connell, who made his Championship debut against Reading on Tuesday after impressing in their FA Cup reverse to Bristol City last week.
There was uproar amongst the Bolton fans when manager Phil Parkinson decided to replace the versatile midfielder with 18 minutes remaining.
"I'm absolutely shocked," said Parkinson. "We played a young kid who is 17 - we gave him his debut.
"We started him but any more than 60 minutes is going to be a risk. Everybody on the bench could see he was tiring and I'm not going to get one of our young kids injured.
"I thought surely people will realise I'm doing it to protect the kid. It wasn't because he hadn't played well. It changed the whole atmosphere of the ground."
Liverpool teen Connell was part of the Irish squad that was controversially knocked out of last summer's U-17 European Championships.
He has played left-back at international level. Connell is on the radar of Spurs, Brighton and Southampton and is not tied down to a long-term contract.