Roberto Martinez dismisses Evans reports

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Everton boss Roberto Martinez has brushed off suggestions the Merseysiders are on the brink of signing Jonny Evans from Manchester United.

Reports emerged on Wednesday that the 27-year-old Northern Ireland international was close to joining the Toffees, who are short of central defenders after releasing Sylvain Distin and Antolin Alcaraz at the end of last season.

Evans only has one year left on his current Old Trafford deal but Martinez has poured cold water on the idea that he will follow his old team-mate Tom Cleverley to Goodison Park this summer.

Addressing the speculation at a press conference in Singapore, where Everton are currently on a pre-season tour, the Spaniard said: "It's not true, there's nothing (in that).

"I always said I'm not going to be commenting publicly on any of the names that have been shared around but I can tell you clearly that there is nothing true in that story."

Evans came through the ranks at United but has not started a game for Louis van Gaal since receiving a six-match ban for spitting at Newcastle's Papiss Cisse in March.

Van Gaal has rewarded Chris Smalling and Phil Jones with new contracts in recent months but Evans' future is far less assured as United continue to be linked to high-profile centre-backs such as Sergio Ramos.

While Martinez rejected the notion he was keen on bringing Evans in, he also issued a hands-off warning for those possibly interested in midfielder James McCarthy.

The Republic of Ireland international has become an integral figure for Everton since he followed his old Wigan boss to the club in 2013 and Martinez is determined to keep hold of him.

"James McCarthy is a phenomenal asset," he added.

"We spent a huge amount of money to bring him to our football club, we're going to build a team around him and he's got a long-term contract with Everton.

"James enjoys his football and is an example for our group. As I said, we're going to build the future around him."

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