Anfield side plot contentious Goodison Park raid.
Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers is to join the race to sign Everton battler James McCarthy as he seeks to bring in a steely edge to marshal his midfield.
With Brazilian Lucas suffering with injury concerns in recent seasons and Steven Gerrard perhaps not best suited to a more withdrawn role the Anfield side have identified Republic of Ireland international McCarthy as a potential addition.
Rodgers has been promised a hefty January transfer window fund with his numerous summer signings being predominantly covered by the sum brought in from the sale of Luis Suarez to Barcelona.
McCarthy has been involved in ongoing contract talks with Everton though the former Wigan Athletic man is yet to be given an improved deal following his superb first season on Merseyside and this has led to a great deal of speculation as to his long term future at Goodison Park.
Man United are known to be interested in McCarthy and Rodgers is keen to lure the tough tackler in January and is ready to offer as much as £18m for the 23 year old.
Though a move from Everton to local rivals Liverpool would be one that wouldn’t endear himself to Toffees fans McCarthy may feel that such a switch would be beneficial to his long term career progression.
Everton’s foot dragging over a new deal may well aid Liverpool’s push for McCarthy as may Roberto Martinez’s side’s rather average start to the campaign.
McCarthy has racked up over 300 appearances for club and country in a career that began at the age of 15 when the Glasgow born midfielder first rose to prominence at Hamilton.