Monday 22 January 2018

Ronald Koeman reveals why Everton rejected a big money bid for Ireland star James McCarthy

James McCarthy. Photo: PA
James McCarthy. Photo: PA
Kevin Palmer

Kevin Palmer

Everton manager Ronald Koeman has revealed his club rejected a £15m offer from Newcastle to sign his Republic of Ireland midfielder James McCarthy in the January transfer window.

Koeman was involved in a lengthy spat with Ireland manager Martin O’Neill and his assistant Roy Keane after both sides made accusations over the fitness levels of McCarthy last year, with both camps suggesting they were not helping the midfielder reach his peak.

That row was raised again by the Everton boss as he explained why he kept the 26-year-old, as he suggested he would get chances to play in his team in the coming months.

“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,” said Koeman of McCarthy.

“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.

“My attitude hasn’t changed towards him. 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.”

Morgan Schneiderlin’s arrival at Everton during the January window means McCarthy faces a fight to secure a place in Koeman’s side, but his manager’s latest comments suggests he remains very much in his plans.

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