McCarthy wary of Arca interest

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Sunderland boss Mick McCarthy has admitted he is not surprised that several clubs are looking at Julio Arca.

Arca has enjoyed a fine season so far with The Black Cats after switching from a winger to a full back.

Celtic are reported to be leading the chase for the Argentine with Stephen Crainey possibly going in the opposite direction.

McCarthy rates Arca very highly and does not to want to lose the South American.

"I don't doubt that teams are fancying him because if I was watching him I'd fancy him as well," said McCarthy.

"As far as I'm concerned, he is not going anywhere. Somebody would have to tell me above my head that it's different, but that has not been suggested at all. He is staying here.

"Julio is involved in a game against Nottingham Forest at the weekend and that's the end of it.

"If I was Martin I'd want Julio, but he has never mentioned it. I had a cup of tea with him when I was up in Glasgow before New Year's Eve, but we have not talked about him trying to sign Julio, nor did we talk about Michael Gray going back there or me trying to get Stephen Crainey.

"He has done very, very well in the First Division and I can't think of a better left back in this division. He is yet to do it in The Premiership, but I do not see any reason why he wouldn't be able to."

Meanwhile, Celtic have completed the signing of Stephen Pearson from Motherwell.

The Scotland international has signed a three-and-a-half-year deal at Parkhead and he could make his debut in Saturday's Tennent's Scottish Cup third round tie against Ross County.