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Everton heading north of the border to relieve Celtic of winger

| 05.05.2014

Not content with signing one former Celtic winger in January, the latest rumours place current Hoops wide man James Forrest near the top of Everton manager Roberto Martinez’ summer shopping list.

Ironically enough it was Aiden McGeady’s 2010 Celtic departure which went a long way to precipitating Forrest’s elevation from the academy to the first team at Parkhead, but now the pair could be lining up in blue together next season.

Although the Toffees look to have fallen short of securing a top-four Premier League spot – where their 22/1 odds reflect the fact they must overcome a four-point deficit to Arsenal with two to play – they look every bit like securing Europa League football.

This means quality recruitment is essential to sustaining another tilt at the top four next season and 22-year-old Forrest would appear to fit that bill for Martinez.

Forrest’s season may have been interrupted by injuries, but he’s still managed six goals in 27 competitive appearances under Neil Lennon this term on his way to a third successive Scottish Premiership winners’ medal.

For his tender years, he’s also a player who has enjoyed regular exposure to European football, being able to strut his stuff in the Champions League for the past two seasons, where he’s set about forging his burgeoning reputation as a top player.

Widely regarded as one of the brightest talents in Scottish football, Forrest has turned out for his country at every youth level and has now tucked nine full international caps under his belt as well.

Celtic and Lennon will be loath to let Forrest go, but as is so often the case it may well come down to money with a potential £7m valuation being placed on the Scot’s head.

If as expected Barcelona loanee Gerard Deulofeu heads back to the Catalan club, then the need to bring Forrest in becomes even greater for Martinez.

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Christian Crowther

Give Christian a sport with anything remotely spherical in it and he’ll happily while away the hours watching it on the box. However, he’d much prefer writing about, playing or betting on golf, football, cricket, tennis, snooker.... you get the picture.