Everton manager Roberto Martinez has insisted on James McCarthy’s importance to his squad and he has warned off Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester City over the possible sale of Republic of Ireland midfielder.

McCarthy joined the Toffees in back in 2013 and has become a crucial figure at Goodison Park. Having recovered from his hamstring injury last season, McCarthy made 37 appearances for Everton and has attracted interest from both Spurs and City.

Tottenham have been the long-term admirers of 24-year old midfielder. They were very close to signing the player instead the player chose to sign for Toffees.

Manchester City have been tracking homegrown players to add to their squad after the departure of James Milner. Having lost out on Fabian Delph last week, City are still hunting central midfield players and it has made McCarthy an automatic agent for the Citizens.

However, despite all the interest, Martinez is keen to keep hold of the player at Goodison Park next season. Speaking with Guardian, Martniez said: “He’s not for sale,”

“James McCarthy is a top performer. He has shown that over recent years. We know what he brings with young legs and good energy. He’s a vital part of our squad.”

“My responsibility is to bring competition into the squad and we have strong competition for places.

We don’t want to lose that. We’re not in a position where we have to sell to balance the books and we want to create a winning team.”

This has come as a major blow for Mauricio Pochettino, who has seen Luis Holtby and Paulinho leave White Hart Lane on permanent basis leaving Spurs short on midfield options.

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