• Premier League

Arsenal move for McCarthy dismissed by Martinez

ESPN staff
December 2, 2014
Martinez: Luck plays a big part in results

Everton manager Roberto Martinez has dismissed Arsenal's chances of signing James McCarthy in the January transfer window.

Weekend newspaper reports suggested that Arsenal were planning a £16 million bid for midfielder McCarthy, who is set to miss Wednesday's Premier League home match against Hull because of a hamstring problem.

McCarthy, 24, signed a long-term contract when he joined Everton from Wigan in September 2013 for £13m and Martinez sees him staying on Merseyside for years to come.

James McCarthy is out with a hamstring problem © PA Photos
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"James McCarthy is someone we rate very, very highly, otherwise you would never have seen the sort of investment we made in him just 15 months ago," said Martinez.

"We're delighted with James' form. I always believe that James is a typical Everton player, and that he can grow and get better. He's got a long-term contract. It was a huge investment.

"I always enjoy seeing good reports on our players. I see the interest in, the potential interest in and the compliments paid to James from the outside. But James is a player we look forward to seeing in an Everton top for a long, long time."

Martinez said it was too soon to tell if McCarthy would be ready for Saturday's Premier League trip to Manchester City.

"We're taking every day as it comes," Martinez added. "He's shown good signs over the last couple of days and we'll keep an eye on it.

"I don't think he'll be able to make tomorrow. I don't think he'll be right for that. We're going to have a fitness test for him."

Midfielder Darron Gibson remains out with a sore knee, while forward Steven Naismith will undergo a late fitness test on his hamstring injury.

Meanwhile, Martinez has played down reports that Christian Atsu's season-long loan deal from Chelsea will be cut short in January in order to facilitate a deal for fellow winger Mohamed Salah.

"No, no, no," he said. "The only thing that matters now is December. We start a very busy month with the game tomorrow.

"We have seven games in this period. As you can imagine, we're going to use January in the best possible way, to try to help our squad.

"But loads of what's going to happen in January, if anything, is going to be based on what happens in the next seven games.

"At the moment, there are no decisions made. There's nothing I'm worried about. I'm delighted with the squad, in the manner we've been tested so far and the way that we've reacted. Now it's just making sure that December is a really good month for us."

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