CELTIC have joined the race to sign Crystal Palace midfielder James McCarthy, according to reports.

The 29-year-old has been linked with a move away from Selhurst Park this summer, with Roy Hodgson aiming to reduce the average age of his squad.

Aston Villa, Leeds, Newcastle and West Ham are also credited with an interest.

Transfer insider Graeme Bailey wrote on Twitter: "Hearing Celtic have joined the chase for James McCarthy and don't underestimate the player's desire to play for the club.

"Could very help them beat the likes of Aston Villa, West Ham, Leeds and Newcastle to his signature."

Palace paid Everton £8million last summer to sign McCarthy and it is understood they will look to get their money back if he departs this window.