Date: 29th May 2019 at 5:01pm
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Rafa Benitez may not yet have signed a contract extension, but the Spaniard has been active searching for players he can sign should he remain at Newcastle.

TEAMtalk understand one option the boss is considering is Everton’s James McCarthy, who is expected to be up for sale this summer following 25 injury plagued months on Merseyside.

The boss will likely be in the market for a new defensive midfielder this summer, should Mike Ashley sanction a new deal for the former Liverpool and Real Madrid head coach, as Jonjo Shelvey and Isaac Hayden are both likely to be heading away from St James’ Park over the coming months.

It is not suggested how much McCarthy would set the Magpies back however, but TransferMarkt consider the 28-year-old a £6.3million talent, which is some way below what reports suggest we value Hayden and Shelvey at.

Former Republic of Ireland international McCarthy, who is in need of a move to salvage his international career, does earn £50,000-a-week on Merseyside, though. And if we were to offer that to bring the defensive midfielder to Tyneside, he would instantly become our third-best paid player, only behind Shelvey and Yoshinori Muto.

Beyond the fees, a move for McCarthy would come with some substantial risks, given he has missed much of the last 25 months thanks to significant knee and hamstring injuries before a Tibia and Fibula fracture.

Even when fit, Everton manager Marco Silva was reluctant to turn to him over Morgan Schneiderlin, to the point McCarthy’s 2018/19 campaign closed out with just 14 senior minutes to his name.

Benitez, though, feels the Glasgow-born ace can help to cover the loss of Hayden and Shelvey.

McCarthy averaged at least two tackles per game in each season of his professional career before injuries started to take their toll in 2017.

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