The giant centre-back, however, insists that Arsenal was the move he wanted to push forward, not least having spoken to fellow Gunners defender Calum Chambers while on international duty.
Arsenal's Calum Chambers is currently on loan at Middlesbrough
"I’d seen everything - it was all paper talk," said Holding when asked about the speculation. "There were people with things on Twitter saying, 'He’s linked here, he’s linked there,' but I think the concrete one that I knew, that my agent told me, was that Arsenal were interested. I was like, 'Wow, Arsenal are interested in me,' so that was one that I wanted to push forward.
"Then when I went away with England in the summer to Toulon, I spoke to Calum Chambers and he said Arsenal is a great club - 'If it happens for you, it would be great to have you there.'
Arsenal's Rob Holding
"[The speculation] was a bit surreal. At the time I was just looking round and seeing my name all over Twitter and places and I’d wake up in the morning and one of my mates had sent me a screen of the newspaper that had linked me with Everton, and I had no idea. They were asking me, 'What’s happening, what’s happening?!' and I was like, 'I don’t know, it’s crazy, we’ll just see what happens.'"
Everton lost England centre-back John Stones to Manchester City in a club-record deal last summer, so their alleged interest in Holding was no real surprise.
The Toffees eventually added Swansea City captain Ashley Williams as Stones' replacement, although it was claimed by owner Farhad Moshiri earlier this month that his side also enquired about Napoli's Kalidou Koulibaly, only to be quoted £60 million.
Napoli's Kalidou Koulibaly (right) in action
Holding has made five appearances for Arsene Wenger's side to date - all of which were as a starter.