James McCarthy: 'Tottenham didn't come up with the money for me but Everton did'

23 year-old reveals he was close to joining Spurs and says rumoured Man Utd interest shows he’s doing a good job.

Image: Barrington Coombs/EMPICS Sport

REPUBLIC OF IRELAND midfielder James McCarthy has revealed he came incredibly close to joining Tottenham last year but that the North Londoners’ tactic of playing hard-ball during negotiations with Wigan allowed Everton swoop in and sign the highly-coveted youngster instead.

Speaking to the London Evening Standard, the 23 year-old said:

Tottenham didn’t come up with the money but Everton did within the last couple of hours [of  the transfer window closed]. Obviously it was just one of those things with Tottenham.”

Though he’s only been at Goodison Park for one season, already there’s talk of a potential move elsewhere with Manchester United’s new manager Louis van Gaal rumoured to be a fan of McCarthy’s style. When quizzed on those rumours, the former Wigan man admitted he was flattered.

 If a club like Manchester United are interested, obviously you are doing a good job. We will see what happens.”

McCarthy was brought to Merseyside by Roberto Martinez, the same man who signed him for Wigan at eighteen and who quickly developed him into an integral part of side. Unsurprisingly, he was fulsome in his praise for the Spaniard, hinting that the effect he’s had since taking over from David Moyes has been remarkable.

Soccer - Everton FC Training - Finch Farm Source: Peter Byrne/Everton FC/Press Association Images

I’ve known him five years now and he’s brilliant. Last season, the lads here knew he wanted to change the system they were used to. They adapted very quickly and well. They are a great set of lads and, with the gaffer bringing in Gareth Barry, I have just loved it. We had the highest points’ tally we have ever had in the Premier League [72 points and finishing above Tottenham and Manchester United] which was brilliant.”

McCarthy also gave his thoughts on the current Republic of Ireland setup. A mainstay of the team during its doomed quest for World Cup qualification, McCarthy expressed his hope for future under the new partnership of Martin O’Neill and Roy Keane.

Not qualifying for the World Cup was a big disappointment but now we’ve got this opportunity and, hopefully, we can achieve big things with the Euros. When we meet up in camp and get together, we will get everybody focused on the goals that we want to achieve. You want to qualify for big tournaments.”

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About the author:

Eoin O'Callaghan

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