Tottenham Hotspur are poised to pose a serious challenge for Everton in the clubs’ pursuit of Wigan Athletic midfielder James McCarthy, reported the Liverpool Echo.

The Irishman’s market value has increased nearly two-fold following interests from a number of high profile Premier League clubs which also include Tottenham’s North London rivals Arsenal, and he is now reported to cost in the region of £20m.

The 22 year old was the glue in the midfield for Wigan over the last few seasons but was not able to rescue them from relegation to the Championship. McCarthy though is far too good a player to play in a lower division and is himself keen on a swift return to the big time, something Tottenham hope to capitalize on.

However, one challenge that manager Andre Villas-Boas might face is providing both McCarthy and new signing Paulinho with quality playing time. Spurs purchased the Brazilian to fill in for Scot Parker, who might move away from White Hart Lane this summer, but an addition player for the CM’s role in the form of the Irishman would mean greater competition for first team places.

Nevertheless, the Spurs are determined to go in for the charismatic 22 year old and endanger his reunion with Everton manager Roberto Martinez at Goodison Park, this summer.

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