MCCARTHY IS JUST THE JOB FOR ROB AT GOODISON
EVERTON are set to make Wigan a take-it-orleave-it offer of £15million for midfielder James McCarthy.
The Toffees have been playing a game of cat and mouse with the Latics as they wait to see whether Belgian Marouane Fellaini will stay at Goodison.
But with Manchester United having failed to land top target Cesc Fabrgeas from Barcelona, the Red Devils are set to turn their attention to Fellaini.
That means Everton boss Roberto Martinez will press ahead with a move to sign McCarthy and will serve his former club a transfer ultimatum to give himself time to pursue other targets if necessary.
Martinez is optimistic a deal can be done to sign the Glasgow-born Ireland international, although Wigan chairman Dave Whelan will drive a hard bargain despite his friendship with the Spaniard.
Current Latics boss Owen Coyle wants McCarthy, 22, to commit to one more year at the DW Stadium as the club seek an immediate return to the top flight.
Everton are also in need of reinforcements after Darron Gibson suffered a knee injury in their friendly match against Real Betis.
Gibson limped off just before half-time and is doubtful for the Premier League opener at Norwich.
Martinez said: “We have been quite fortunate in pre-season not to pick up too many knocks and bruises, but Darron hurt his knee and has a grade one ligament problem.
“We’ll have to assess it over the next few days and we will have a clear idea of where he is.”
Everton are also tracking Braga left-back Elderson Echiejile as a replacement for United target Leighton Baines.
The Nigeria international, 25, has a £4m release clause, but the Portuguese club will let him go for £1.5m because he only has a year left on his contract.
TOFFEES TARGET: McCarthy is wanted by Martinez