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The Ireland international is reported to be a transfer target for Manchester United but his manager has declared that he is not leaving Everton, pointing to an exciting future

Everton manager Roberto Martinez has firmly dismissed speculation linking midfielder James McCarthy with a move to Manchester United.

Louis van Gaal is reported to be a keen admirer of the Ireland international as he looks to bring in another midfielder before the transfer window closes at the end of the month.

The former Wigan Athletic star, who joined Everton for £13 million last summer, said earlier this summer that he was flattered to be linked to Old Trafford, while Goal revealed that United and Tottenham were readying bids.

But speaking at the club's Finch Farm training complex, Martinez declared that McCarthy’s future lies at the Goodison Park club.

"I don’t welcome comments about our players and for me James McCarthy is one of the best midfielders in the league," said Martinez. "I don’t get surprised if other teams send good footballing compliments but his future is clearly at Everton and it is an exciting one."

Meanwhile McCarthy's fellow Irishman, Darron Gibson, looks to have put his injury woes from last season behind him and is set to play an important part in the upcoming campaign.

"It’s really important," Martinez said on Gibson’s return to full fitness. "Darron is quite a different midfielder, he’s that sort of playmaker and for me he is one of the best passers in the league.” 

Gibson injured his anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) on international duty last October but the Everton boss has confirmed that he is edging closer to full fitness ahead of the new season but admits the Toffees must be cautious with their approach to his return.

"It has been a very frustrating time since he got injured," said Martinez. "But he has shown some good flashes during pre-season but we must make sure we are patient enough to allow him to recover fully and if we can get him fully fit it will be a massive, massive boost for the squad."

Right-back Seamus Coleman also faces a race to be fit for the season opener against Leicester City on Saturday after only returning to training with the team in the past few days.