James McCarthy
Everton midfielder James McCarthy is a reported January target for Arsenal and Tottenham [Getty]

Tottenham are preparing a £20m cash-plus-player deal for Everton midfielder James McCarthy as Mauricio Pochettino looks to stabilise his midfield and push for a top-four spot, coming into the business end of the season.

Goal.com reports that Younes Kaboul and Aaron Lennon will be sent to Goodison as part of the deal, with Roberto Martinez looking for players to resurrect his team and give them a chance to qualify for Europe, which they almost managed last season.

Arsenal are also interested in signing the midfielder, as Arsene Wenger is in need of a player to protect his back four, something that McCarthy excels at. The Gunners have handed Francis Coquelin a new deal and will make a move for McCarthy in the chance that the Frenchman decides to move on, as he has impressed with his performance this season.

Meanwhile, Tottenham have been huge admirers of the player since his time at Wigan and tried to sign him in 2013, but were scuppered as Martinez used his influence at Wigan to prise the midfielder away.

Pochettino is looking to conduct a major upheaval in the squad and has earmarked numerous players, who can be shown the door, over the next few transfer windows.

The Republic of Ireland midfielder has fallen out of favour with the management and has not started in a single game since December. The player has emerged as Tottenham's prime target in January after they failed to land Morgan Schneiderlin, who has pledged his future at Southampton.

Spurs are currently sixth in the league, three points behind Manchester United in fourth spot and two behind local rivals Arsenal.

They will face Arsenal in the first week of February at White Hart Lane, where a win could boost their chances of securing a Champions League spot, which they last achieved in 2011 under Harry Redknapp.