Everton are adamant they will succeed in seeing off Manchester City’s interest in midfielder James McCarthy.
Having been surprised by Fabian Delph’s sudden rejection of an agreed £8m transfer from Aston Villa, City are believed to have targeted the 24-year-old whom Roberto Martinez has managed at both Wigan and Everton. The Everton manager, who paid £13m for the Scot two years ago, said he was aware of City’s interest but added that he neither needed nor wanted to sell.
“There are two reasons why James McCarthy is not for sale,” said Martinez. “The first is that Everton are a club that has balanced its books, it is not a club that needs to sell anybody. The second is that James McCarthy has been a strong performer for me for a number of seasons. I know exactly how he performs, he is a central part of my plans so the answer would be no.”
Martinez saw Everton overcome Stoke on penalties after a goalless draw in the first semi-final of the Barclays Asia Trophy. They will face Arsenal, who beat a Singapore XI 4-0 in Saturday’s final.
With manager Arsene Wenger confirming that Alexis Sanchez will probably miss most of the first month of the season because of his commitments in the Copa America, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain admitted the next six weeks would be crucial to his career. He has not started a first-team game since the 2-1 defeat of Manchester United in the quarter-finals of the FA Cup in March.
“I have suffered with injuries over the last two seasons which is not what you want so I do see this as an opportunity,” he said. “I am working on everything I can to stay fit and every opportunity I get I have to take now. I am now focused on giving the boss the hardest possible decision regarding his selections. There’s no doubt this is an important season for me.”Reuse content