James McCarthy celebrates his first goal of the season, but is likely to start on the bench against Middlesbrough.

James McCarthy says he’s happy at Everton and has been told he feature in Ronald Koeman’s plans for the Blues.

The midfielder was the subject of a deadline day approach from Newcastle in January, following just eight first team appearances in a season that’s so far been blighted by injury.

But McCarthy told Sky Sports News that he’s happy with his role at Everton despite the speculation: “I’m happy enough here. I want to play games and want to be involved as much as I can. The manager said I’m not for sale and hopefully I can kick on from now until the end of the season and make sure I’m giving the boss a headache.”

McCarthy scored his first goal of the season in the 6-3 win at Bournemouth last week and says securing European football remains the target this season.

“We’re looking at the European places. We won’t get carried away with the good start to 2017. We need to kick on and make sure we’re up there and competing.”

The Irish international also thinks Romelu Lukaku is happy at the club amid unfounded reports the striker is set to leave the Blues this summer: “He’s a top player and it’s brilliant to have him here. Him signing a new contract would be a massive boost and he’s certainly happy here.”

 

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