Hoops lodge McCarthy bid

Image: McCarthy: In demand

Celtic have upped their efforts to sign Hamilton starlet James McCarthy by lodging a formal approach.

Accies set to reject Celtic's approach for teenage midfielder

Celtic have upped their efforts to sign Hamilton starlet James McCarthy by lodging a formal approach. The 18-year-old is widely regarded as the hottest prospect in Scottish football and has been drawing admiring glances from afar for some time. He was recently named PFA Scotland Young Player of the Year and continues to make steady progress with the Republic of Ireland Under 21 side. Premier League outfit Portsmouth were reported to have made a £500,000 bid for his services last week, with the Accies immediately rejecting that offer. However, his future remains uncertain as SPL giants Celtic have now joined the race for his signature. "The club have received an offer for James. I can say at this stage that it will be rejected," said Hamilton boss Billy Reid. Reid is also confident that McCarthy will not let the ongoing speculation affect his performances.

Future

"James has had this for two years and he'll not let it affect him," he added. "We'll sit down at the end of the season and talk about James' future." While Reid is understandably keen to retain the services of his prized asset, McCarthy's agent Willie McKay has previously stated that his client would be interested in a move to Parkhead. Such a switch remains some way off at present, though, with McCarthy currently focused on helping Hamilton end the 2008/09 campaign in positive fashion. "We're keeping James informed at all times of the situation," said McKay. "At this stage, he's just focusing on the final two games of the season."

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