Everton rebuff James McCarthy enquiries

Tottenham's Erik Lamela in action with Everton's James McCarthy

HITC Sport understands Toffees want to keep influential Irishman

Tottenham's Erik Lamela in action with Everton's James McCarthyTottenham's Erik Lamela in action with Everton's James McCarthy

Everton have turned down enquiries from a number of Premier League rivals for James McCarthy, HITC Sport understands.

Sunderland - who are already locked in talks with Everton over Lamine Kone - asked about McCarthy, whilst in recent weeks it is understood Swansea City and Toffees boss Ronald Koeman's former club Southampton have also enquired.

Republic of Ireland's James McCarthy heads clear of Italy's Simone ZazaRepublic of Ireland's James McCarthy heads clear of Italy's Simone Zaza

However, Koeman is understood to be more than happy to keep McCarthy in his squad with the 25-year-old starting the weekend's opening game of the season with Tottenham.

McCarthy was pushed out wide against Spurs, but he shone for Koeman - who was known to have singled him out for praise behind the scenes.

Everton's James McCarthy in action with Tottenham's Danny RoseEverton's James McCarthy in action with Tottenham's Danny Rose

An Everton source has told HITC Sport: "Clubs have asked about McCarthy but he is firmly in the manager's thoughts."

McCarthy, who featured for Republic of Ireland in Euro 2016, joined Everton in 2013 from Wigan and signed a new five-year deal last summer amid interest from Tottenham and Arsenal.

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