Alex McCarthy 'kicking his heels' at Southampton amid Premier League interest | OneFootball

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·30 November 2023

Alex McCarthy 'kicking his heels' at Southampton amid Premier League interest

Article image:Alex McCarthy 'kicking his heels' at Southampton amid Premier League interest
  • Alex McCarthy has been identified as a target by Everton after he has struggled to secure game time at Southampton this season.
  • The goalkeeper has been limited to just 90 minutes of action thanks to Gavin Bazunu remaining the first-choice shot-stopper at St Mary's.
  • McCarthy is due to enter the final 18 months of his £50,000-per-week contract at the turn of the year.

Southampton star Alex McCarthy is 'kicking his heels' after being starved of game time at St Mary's, but transfer insider Dean Jones has told GIVEMESPORT why he could end up remaining among Russell Martin's options beyond the January window.

The goalkeeper has been forced to play second-fiddle since Gavin Bazunu joined Saints in a deal worth up to £15million from reigning Premier League champions Manchester City last year, with opportunities being at a premium despite dropping into the Championship.

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McCarthy, who made his sole international appearance for England in a friendly against the United States in November 2018, has been linked with a return to the top flight after failing to work his way into the forefront of Southampton boss Martin's plans.

Everton keen on landing McCarthy

Everton remain interested in McCarthy after initially looking to lure him to Goodison Park during the summer, according to Football Insider, and chief Sean Dyche is looking into the possibility of striking a January deal as he aims to make the most of a small budget.

The report suggests the former Burnley manager is an admirer of the 33-year-old, who has been restricted to just 90 minutes of action and is still waiting to make his first Championship appearance of the season, and he fits the bill as a back-up option to the first-choice Jordan Pickford due to boasting plenty of Premier League experience.

McCarthy is set to enter the final 18 months of his £50,000-per-week contract in January, meaning it would make business sense for Southampton to cash in during the winter window after he has failed to dislodge Bazunu as one of the first names on the team sheet.

Saints have been willing to offload the former Reading goalkeeper for a prolonged period as talkSPORT reporter Alex Crook previously told GIVEMESPORT that he was put on the market during the 2022 summer window, when Ralph Hassenhuttl was still in the St Mary's dugout.

Although McCarthy was coveted by Everton and Crystal Palace after discussions with newly-promoted Luton Town broke down in August, a quickfire return to the Premier League failed to come to fruition, and it has led to a frustrating spell on the periphery.

Dean Jones update - Alex McCarthy

Jones understands that McCarthy has been left frustrated at Southampton, having been frozen out of the starting XI, and he is likely to be on the radar of numerous clubs who are looking for fresh competition between the sticks for the second half of the campaign.

But the respected reporter believes the ex-Leeds United man's route out of St Mary's could be blocked by Martin due to ongoing doubts over Bazunu's long-term future.

"He is kicking his heels at the moment, and that's always going to be frustrating. The January window is obviously a time when he could be looked towards by clubs who are in need of new options. "But, at a time when there is also speculation around Gavin Bazunu, it is a situation the club will have to deal with carefully. "He is an important figure to have around the place. He has been at Saints for such a long time now, so they will be very careful about letting him go."

Bazunu linked with Tottenham move

Tottenham Hotspur's recruitment team have identified Bazunu as a top prospect, according to Football Insider, and it has led to the north Londoners' scouts closely monitoring his progress at Southampton ahead of a potential January bid being tabled.

The report suggests the Republic of Ireland international, who conceded more than 50 goals as Saints were relegated from the Premier League last season, fits the profile of player that Spurs chief Ange Postecoglou is looking to invest in.

But Southampton are in a strong negotiating position and will opt against selling Bazunu unless their demands are met by Tottenham or another admirer as his £20,000-per-week contract still has more than three-and-a-half years to run.

Martin has publicly backed the 21-year-old by claiming 'he’ll be one of the best goalkeepers in the division for how we want to play', so it is abundantly clear that he will be calling on the Championship side's hierarchy to snub any potential proposals.

Bazunu would provide competition for Guglielmo Vicario, , if he completes a move to the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium midway through the campaign.

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