Midweek Sport - - SPORT - By TIM ABRA­HAM

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

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