Martinez plays down Arsenal links with Everton’s McCarthy

After reports emerged that Arsenal were monitoring Everton’s James McCarthy, manager Roberto Martinez has played down speculation of a move by insisting no contact has been made, the London Evening Standard is reporting.

The Irishman signed from Martinez’s former club Wigan for £13m last season and has become an important part of the Everton side – although he is currently side lined with injury.

During his press conference the Toffees boss was asked about interest from Arsenal in a January move for the 24-year-old, to which he flatly stated there had been zero contact from their Premier League rivals.

He said: “James is someone we rate very highly, otherwise you wouldn’t have seen the sort of investment we made on him.

“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.

“But he is a player we look forward to seeing in the Everton top for a long, long time.”

McCarthy is expected to undergo a late fitness test on Wednesday ahead of their clash with Hull following his recovery from a recurring hamstring problem.

Since joining the club back in September 2013 he has already made 55 appearances in Everton colours, pitching in with one goal.

It is his partnership with fellow holding midfielder Gareth Barry that has impressed for the club over the past season – helping them to a fifth placed finish last term.

See what the expert tipsters at OLBG are tipping on Everton v Hull

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