Belfast Telegraph

Everton boss Roberto Martinez fends off talk of James McCarthy move

By Phil Medlicott

Everton boss Roberto Martinez has stressed he has had no contact from Arsenal regarding James McCarthy and that he looks forward to seeing the midfielder stay with the Toffees "for a long, long time".

Fresh stories linking McCarthy with a move away from Goodison Park have emerged over the last few days, this time with the Gunners said to be interested in signing him in January.

Additionally, it has been suggested Everton are trying to tie the 24-year-old Republic of Ireland international, who they recruited from Wigan for £13million on a "long-term deal" in September 2013, to a new contract in a bid to ward off the interest.

But when asked about such talk ahead of tonight's game with Hull, Martinez emphasised Arsenal had not been in touch.

And the Spaniard added: "We are delighted with his form and I've always believed he is a typical Everton player, can grow and can get better.

"He has a long-term contract and it was a huge investment. I always enjoy seeing good reports on our players, and I see the potential interest or the good compliments that can be paid towards James from the outside."

McCarthy is set to miss the game with a hamstring problem while forward Steven Naismith has an "outside chance" of featuring.

Mid-table Everton are set to face their former striker, Nikica Jelavic, who switched to Hull -without a win in six games and defeats in each of their last four.

"Coming back to Goodison will be a really good moment for him," said Martinez, whose side were unbeaten in eight matches in all competitions before Sunday's loss at Tottenham.

Everton v Hull City, Premier League: Goodison Park, 7.45pm

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