Martinez defiant that James McCarthy will remain at Everton despite widespread interest

The Republic of Ireland midfielder looks set to miss tonight’s game with Hull because of a persistent hamstring injury.

Image: Peter Byrne/PA Archive/Press Association Images

ROBERTO MARTINEZ SAYS he has no intention of allowing James McCarthy to leave Everton amid interest from Arsenal and Manchester United.

The Republic of Ireland midfielder, who looks set to miss tonight’s visit of Hull City with a persistent hamstring injury, has impressed following his 2013 switch to Goodison Park from Wigan Athletic.

Both Arsene Wenger and Louis van Gaal have been alerted by the 24-year-old’s fine displays, and Goal understands McCarthy will assess his options in January if Everton refuse to offer him a new deal.

But Martinez is determined to ensure the midfielder – who joined the club for a €16 million fee – remains at Goodison Park for the foreseeable future.

We rate him very, very highly, otherwise you will never have seen the sort of investment we put in him 16 months ago. I’m delighted with his form. He can grow and get better. He’s got a long-term contract. I see the interest and the potential interest, and it’s a compliment. But James is a player we look forward to seeing in the Everton top for a long time.”

Despite the anticipated absence of McCarthy, Everton are strong favourites to see off a Hull side who have lost four on the bounce and not won in six Premier League games, but Martinez remains wary.

He added: “This Hull team have kept that competitiveness, bringing in some high-quality players. Their results are misleading.”

Everton sit 10th in the table following Sunday’s 2-1 loss to Tottenham, having won just once in their last four league matches.

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