Everton boss Roberto Martinez remains keen on a move for Manchester United midfielder Tom Cleverley but will not be sacrificing James McCarthy to clinch any deal.
Reports surfaced in recent days that new Old Trafford boss Louis van Gaal was planning a surprise raid for the Republic of Ireland international but the Blues will not be entertaining any approaches for the 23-year-old who was developed by Martinez at Wigan Athletic and followed the Catalan to Goodison Park last September.
McCarthy cost Everton £13million but following a hugely-impressive debut campaign is now valued at over double that amount by the club.
United paid the Blues £27.5million for Marouane Fellaini at the start of the season and it would take an even larger bid for McCarthy in order for Everton to even consider doing business.
Everton’s James McCarthy (right) and Norwich City’s Leroy Fer battle for the ball
However, the club do not want to lose one of their most prized assists and there are no financial pressures to sell the player who is settled at an Everton side that did the double over United and finished eight points above them in the Premier League table.
A more significant factor as to whether Cleverley does join the Blues could be the destination of Gareth Barry.
After joining on-loan from Manchester City, the 33-year-old struck up a successful partnership with McCarthy and Everton appeared to be in pole position to make a permanent switch for the free agent this summer.
Barry thoroughly enjoyed his spell at Goodison but would have to take a significant pay cut to join the Blues and has yet to commit his future, with other interest coming from north London rivals Arsenal and Tottenham plus Major League Soccer.
Martinez primarily sees Cleverley, 24, who played for him on loan at Wigan, as a potential long-term replacement for Leon Osman and the England international, who is entering the final year of his contract, is believed to be eager to make the switch to Merseyside.
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