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Celtic lining-up James McCarthy free transfer after Republic of Ireland midfielder left Crystal Palace this summer

JAMES MCCARTHY is reportedly nearing a move to boyhood club Celtic after leaving Crystal Palace.

The Scottish Premiership giants are seeking reinforcements after a shock defeat to newly-promoted Hearts opened their campaign on Saturday.

New boss Ange Postecoglou has welcomed the likes of Carl Starfelt and Kyogo Furuhashi to the club so far this summer but the centre of midfield has been light on new recruits.

According to the Scottish Mail, McCarthy is one option under consideration at Parkhead.

The Irish midfielder grew up supporting Celtic and is a free agent after being released by Crystal Palace.

The Eagles let the 30-year-old go as part of a considerable summer overhaul, with Gary Cahill, Andros Townsend and Patrick van Aanholt among a number of first-teamers released.

A new goalkeeper is also thought to be wanted by Celtic ahead of a potential departure for Greek flop Vasilis Barkas.

First-choice keeper Scott Bain was caught out of position for Hearts' winner on the weekend and Tottenham's Joe Hart has been linked with a move to Glasgow.

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John Souttar's late strike and an early exit from the Champions League have heightened calls for Celtic to intensify their market activity.

Postecoglou moved to assure fans before the game, and told reporters: "I’m pretty confident.

"We are all working very hard to get at least one or two into the club by the end of next week."

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Patrick van Aanholt leaves Crystal Palace to join Galatasaray on free transfer

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