Everton vs Hull City: Roberto Martinez fights off Arsenal's interest in James McCarthy

McCarthy has been linked with a move away from Goodison Park again

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The Everton manager, Roberto Martinez, has stressed he has had no contact from Arsenal regarding James McCarthy and that he wants the midfielder to stay at Goodison Park “for a long, long time”.

McCarthy has been linked with a move away from Goodison Park again, this time with the Gunners said to be interested in signing him in January. It has also been reported that Everton are trying to tie the 24-year-old Republic of Ireland international, whom they recruited from Wigan for £13m on a “long-term deal” in September 2013, to a new contract in a bid to ward off outside interest.

Ahead of tonight’s Premier League match at home to Hull City, Martinez emphasised that Arsenal had not enquired about the player. “James is someone we rate very highly, otherwise you wouldn’t have seen the sort of investment we made on him,” he said. “He has a long-term contract and it was a huge investment.

“I always enjoy seeing good reports on our players, but he is a player we look forward to seeing in the Everton top for a long, long time.”

Steve Bruce still believes his Hull side can improve on last season’s achievement, despite the fact they have suffered four straight league defeats.

 

Having finished 16th last term and reached the FA Cup final, they now find themselves one place above the relegation zone in their second campaign back in the top flight.

The manager feels his side can raise their game for the rest of the season. “I think the bottom half of the division is [in a relegation battle],” said Bruce. “Four points separate 10 or 11 clubs so when it’s like that, you’re all in it.

“I still believe we’ve got more quality in the squad than we had last year and I still believe we’ll finish higher up in the league than we did last year. It’s our turn so we’ll pull up our sleeves, find a bit of form from somewhere and still have the belief we’ll have a decent season.”

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