Everton boss insistent that star assets are going nowhere

Everton manager Roberto Martinez has dismissed reports that star midfielder James McCarthy is close to quitting the club amidst strong interest from the Merseyside club’s Premier League rivals.

24-year-old McCarthy has been heavily linked with a move to Tottenham and Manchester City, but Martinez is adamant that the Republic of Ireland international is going nowhere.

“James McCarthy is a story we keep hearing. I can only guess where it’s coming from. Whoever it is must have their reason,” he said.

“James McCarthy is a phenomenal asset. We spent a huge amount of money, we are building a team around him, he has a long contract and there is not a single issue.

“For every Evertonian’s peace of mind, James McCarthy is at Everton – he’s an enormous asset and we’re going to build the future around him.”

The Toffees are believed to be in the market for a centre-back following the departure of veteran defener Sylvain Distin and reports of league champions Chelsea planning a move for highly-rated youngster John Stones.

This has seen them linked with a bid for out-of-favour Manchester United defender Jonny Evans, who is also attracting the interest of West Bromwich Albion.

Meanwhile, right-back Seamus Coleman – who United have been monitoring this summer – also took the opportunity to pledge his future to the Goodison Park club.

Regarding the interest in him from the Red Devils, the 26-year-old said:

“It’s usually summer time this stuff comes up. It means you’re doing alright but it’s not necessarily true.

“I’m looking forward to improving on what we did last season, personally and as a team. I’m looking forward to putting that right.”