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Kane, Lukaku, Sanchez race for Golden Boot

Five Aside
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 By Mike Whalley

James McCarthy dismisses exit talk

James McCarthy is enjoying life at Everton.

James McCarthy insists he feels "part of the family" at Everton amid speculation linking him with Manchester United and Tottenham.

The Republic of Ireland midfielder hinted in an interview with the London Evening Standard on July 29 that he would be open to a move to Old Trafford.

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He also revealed that Tottenham had nearly signed him shortly before his switch to Merseyside.

But McCarthy, who arrived at Goodison Park from Wigan Athletic in a 13 million pound deal in September 2013, has declared that he is fully focused on helping Everton's bid to improve on last season's fifth-place Premier League finish.

The 23-year-old told the Liverpool Echo: "I'm enjoying life here. I feel part of the family. It's a real family club and it's great to be involved in. It's been a year since I came but it feels a lot longer than that."

McCarthy added that he is keen to renew his midfield partnership with Gareth Barry, who made his loan move from Manchester City permanent on July 8.

He said: "It was a massive signing. Me and Gaz loved playing in the middle of the park last season.

"He was brilliant to work with and I'm excited he's stayed. He's an experienced head and talks away to you both on and off the pitch."

They will compete for places in midfield this coming season with Darron Gibson, back in action after suffering cruciate knee ligament damage last October, and Muhamed Besic, signed from Hungarian club Ferencvaros on July 28.

McCarthy added: "There's competition there now. We've got Gibbo coming back and the new boy Muhamed looks like a good player.

"We'll need that competition with the new season coming and so many games. We'll all have to be on our toes with so many talented boys ready to come in and do a job.

"But I think we can still develop as a partnership. It's a new season and there's always something different to come."

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