Irish Players In January's Transfer Window: Richard Dunne, Shane Long And James McCarthy

Richard Dunne:

The 33 year old Irish defender's main concerns at present are recovering from the litany of injuries that have hindered him from taking part in Aston Villa's season to date.  While it's apparent that Villa manager Paul Lambert is willing to let the Dubliner leave; suitors will only come to the fore once his fitness is proven.  Following a groin operation in December, Dunne is working back to full fitness.  Villa's alarming concession of weak goals might not add weight to an argument to allow a sale of a figure of solidity, but Lambert's emphasis on youth is obvious.

There appears to be willing parties prepared to take  risk on Dunne.  LA Galaxy have been linked with a move to bring Dunne to California, a move that could be swayed by the presence of friend and international team mate Robbie Keane.  Dunne also has family in California which could further persuade a move across the Atlantic.

But closer to home interest is also being generated by QPR.  Harry Redknapp is keen to add solidity to his sides back line and sees the experience and tenacity of Dunne as a good fit.  However Redknapp will not swoop unless it's clear the ex Manchester City and Everton centre back is match fit.  And time before the shutting of the transfer window is advancing.

James McCarthy:

James McCarthy has shown another shift in gear this season, expanding on his already tidy game to show he has an all round solid passing and defensive game.  His dynamic performances for Wigan have shown a steady stream of interest from some of the Premier Leagues top sides, most recently Arsenal and Everton.

McCarthy has made the 9th most tackles amongst all midfielders in the division and makes on average just over 57 passes a game.  His performances have made him a regular also at international level and at 22 he has the attributes to be a player around which a solid team can be built.

His honest endeavours in midfield ensure he has the type of ready made skill set that Everton manager David Moyes looks for in a player.  And an £8 million offer might be enough to tempt an acceptance from the DW stadium. 

Shane Long:

With not just 8 goals in 22 games for West Bromwich Albion this season, but also a tenacity and drive that continuously causes huge defensive problems for opposing defences, it's not surprising that his form has had Tipperary man Shane Long linked with a move from the Hawthorns. 

Previously it was rumoured that Liverpool were planning a £12 million move for the striker, but with the acquisition of Daniel Sturridge that move is now highly unlikely.

However one rumour that has slowly gained pace is the interest of one of Serie A's front runners, Lazio.  It's been reported that Long has been placed on a list of potential targets for Vladimir Petkovic's side.  On reflection the move would not be completely unorthodox, Long's movement and energy would be suited to breaking down stubborn defences and Long has also added some dexterous aspects to his play too.

West Brom, not dissimilar to Wigan, are a well run club and are not under any real duress to sell.  However should an appropriate offer come in, it is feasible it's acceptance would occur.  Long cost €7.5 million from Reading a year and a half ago.  The midlands side could well be looking for double that if a move is to take place.

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