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Seamus Coleman and James McCarthy are 'very close' to being fit again

Everton boss Roberto Martinez brushes off speculation about McCarthy’s contract status.

McCarthy and Coleman: Ireland were without two of their best players for the games against Gibraltar and Germany.
McCarthy and Coleman: Ireland were without two of their best players for the games against Gibraltar and Germany.
Image: Everton FC/Press Association Images

ROBERTO MARTINEZ EXPECTS Seamus Coleman and James McCarthy to be available by next week at the latest.

The pair missed Ireland’s games against Gibraltar and Germany through injury but are close to making their return.

Everton host Aston Villa on Saturday before travelling to Lille in the Europa League next Thursday.

“They’re very close to being available to travel with the squad,” Martinez said at his morning press briefing.

[It's too early to say] for the weekend but if it’s not the weekend, I expect them to be available for the Europa League game.

The Toffees boss also brushed off any uncertainty about McCarthy’s contract and future at Goodison Park.

“James McCarthy has been here for 14, 15 months of a really long-term contract. I think he’s got another five years with us.

“We’re delighted with James’s progress and he’s really happy with Everton.”

He added: “Every situation is different and every player that is doing well, we always look to reward them.

James has been phenomenal since the day he started. The investment that we made in him is because we have incredible belief, and I think he’s showing everyone the type of player that he is, but I don’t think there’s a contractual situation to be resolved in that respect.

“He’s in a long-term contract and all I want from James is for him to enjoy his football and concentrate on that.”

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Niall Kelly

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