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Spurs to offer player plus cash for Merseyside midfield maestro

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It's the Mail. But that doesn't mean it's not happening this time.

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Everton's James McCarthy has been the subject of a lot of speculation in Tottenham Hotspur transfer rumors lately, as he's been identified as one of a number of targets as Spurs seek to shore up the center of their midfield. According to the Mail, Tottenham are planning to propose a deal that would send Aaron Lennon to Everton plus cash in exchange for McCarthy.

McCarthy is a solid player: a deep-lying playmaker with the ability to shield the defense, get forward when needed, and a penchant for long, accurate passes. McCarthy was a great player at Wigan, and has been a solid midfielder for Everton as well, and it's no wonder they're asking £20m for him. In a world where Morgan Schneiderlin is a Manchester United player, McCarthy would be a very good partner for Nabil Bentaleb in the center of midfield.

As for Lennon, the long-time Spurs servant is on the outs at Tottenham, but he impressed in his late season loan at Goodison Park, and he's apparently much loved by Roberto Martinez and Everton supporters. Lennon still has a few good years left in him – he's only 28, which seems unreal – and despite not fitting into Mauricio Pochettino's tactics he would be a fine addition to Everton's squad. Merseyside is the most logical destination for him, and everyone knows it.

The article suggests that Spurs' opening gambit would be Lennon plus £12m for McCarthy. Since Spurs value Lennon at £9m and Everton value McCarthy at £20m, this is at least on paper a good deal. However, I wouldn't expect things to be that easy. No bids have been confirmed as of yet and even so player plus cash swap deals are rare in football. Spurs are probably seriously looking at McCarthy as one of a few different options, but this is a rumor that's probably going to need to marinate for a while.