Sport | 3 weeks ago
Koeman explains why Everton turned down big money transfer bid for James McCarthy
Newcastle United wanted to sign the midfielder...

James McCarthy is still an Everton player.

McCarthy had been linked with a move away from the club for several months, but will remain at the club until the summer at least.

The Republic of Ireland midfielder's season has been disrupted by injuries and he's made just eight appearances in the league.

There were also suggestions that Ronald Koeman wasn't particularly keen on the player. The Everton manager played McCarthy as a wing-back in a game last August, and currently has plenty of midfield options.

Morgan Schneiderlin was signed from Manchester United in January, Idrissa Gueye has impressed, Tom Davies has broken into the first-team and Muhamed Besic is returning from injury.

McCarthy also has to compete with the ever-present Gareth Barry for a starting place.

However, Everton reportedly turned down a £16m bid from Newcastle United for McCarthy in the January window.

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It appears Koeman is prepared to give the Ireland midfielder a chance in the team, and he has tipped him to have a "long-term future" with the club.

"I see him having a long term future here because I think he is a really good player and those players we need for the future of Everton," Koeman said.

"We need competition in the midfield and that is what I mentioned to the board of the club.

"There is no possibility for one of the midfielders to go. Yes for Darron Gibson, because there was too much competition for him, but not for James."

Koeman also said that he thinks McCarthy is now a better player after improving his fitness. The midfielder should be part of Everton's squad for their trip to Stoke City on Wednesday.

"My attitude hasn’t changed towards him," he said.

"My attitude is the same. If what happened with all the injuries and all the call ups for Ireland I will do the same. Of course, he's really on a good fitness level and that makes James a better player than I saw in the beginning.

"At the beginning he was not fit, he had his problems with his hamstring. I am really pleased with his quality and how he is involved in the team."

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Everton, Ronald Koeman, James McCarthy