James McCarthy has revealed that he feared his deadline-day move to Everton would fall through as it was completed with just ten minutes to spare.
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The Republic of Ireland midfielder completed a £13 million transfer from Wigan on Monday night after Everton boss Roberto Martinez, who was McCarthy’s manager at the DW Stadium before leaving for Goodison Park in June, had been chasing a deal all summer.
But the two clubs could not agree a fee, and as the clock ticked towards the 11pm BST transfer deadline, frustration started to set in for McCarthy.
“Monday was hectic. I was just sitting in the house waiting for it to happen and it wasn’t nice to be waiting about, especially when we didn’t find out for definite until 10.50pm that it was going to happen. We were on the way to the training ground to get the paperwork done," the 22-year-old told the Daily Mail.
“At that stage, it was just a relief to be honest. It was frustrating that it took so long to get done and a relief when it did. Now I’m just really looking forward to it.”
Wigan chairman Dave Whelan was keen to ensure he got the best possible price for the Glasgow-born midfielder.
But McCarthy, who was allowed to leave preparations for the Republic of Ireland’s World Cup qualifier against Sweden in Dublin this Friday to complete the deal, admitted that he thought the deal was going to collapse.
The midfielder, who re-joined his international colleagues on Tuesday, said: “There was talk in the press during the summer but I don’t think there were any other official bids, just talking.
“It took a while -- all summer. To be honest, there was paper talk and it got a bit frustrating at times seeing your name linked with various clubs. No disrespect to Wigan Athletic but you want to get back to the Premier League and I was delighted it happened.
“At times I was wondering if it was going to happen. It was a long day. As anyone would be, I was a bit nervous at times, and kept looking at the phone, constantly to see what was happening.
“Obviously my agent was there as well and we were just waiting for that call to say it was happening.
“It’s a business at the end of the day, isn’t it? You hear different things throughout the day. I kept hearing that it was going to happen and then it wasn’t going to happen and you start wondering if it’s going to get pushed over the line.
“I was stuck in the middle of it and it was a bit frustrating to be honest. But it’s done now and it’s a new challenge and one I’m looking forward to.
“It’s the Premier League and I want to get back there as soon as possible. I’m no different to any other player. Everyone will tell you the Premier League is the place to be and when I heard Everton were interested, I was delighted to go there and sign.”