We are going to build the future around James McCarthy, says Everton manager Roberto Martinez

Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester City have been linked with midfielder, but Everton boss remains adamant his star man will not be leaving.

James McCarthy will still be an Everton player come the close of the transfer window, according to Roberto Martinez - in quotes published by the Daily Mail.

The Spaniard said: “James McCarthy is a phenomenal asset.

“We spent a huge amount of money, we are building a team around him, he has a long contract and there is not a single issue. “

The Republic of Ireland international has quickly become one of Everton’s key men since his switch from Wigan Athletic two seasons ago, and his departure would be a huge blow for the club’s prospects - with the Express reporting on interest from Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester City.

John Stones has also reportedly been the subject of attention from Premier League champions Chelsea, according to Sky Sports, and Martinez will be doing his utmost to ensure both players remain at Goodison this summer.

The Everton boss attempted to quell fan fears over McCarthy’s future, adding: “For every Evertonian’s peace of mind, James McCarthy is at Everton, he’s an enormous asset and we’re going to build the future around him.”

Despite his reassuring words, the harsh reality of football means that more often than not, the so-called ‘lesser’ clubs fail to hold on to their prized assets once the big boys come calling.

While no official bid has been launched for McCarthy, Everton’s rejection of Chelsea’s £20 million Stones bid shows neither deal will be easy for interested parties to complete.

Spurs are likely to step up their pursuit of the 24-year old once the deal to sell Benjamin Stambouli to PSG is complete - which Midi Libre suggest is close - with McCarthy seen as the ideal man to partner Nabil Bentaleb in the heart of their midfield.

Yet the powerful nature of Martinez's words does not suggest a man worried about his club's future, but rather a man confident that those above him will do the right thing for the interests of Everton Football Club.

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