Coleman not going to United

Everton manager Roberto Martinez rubbished claims Seamus Coleman is on his way to Manchester United and quipped it must be another player with the same name who is featured in speculation about a move to Old Trafford.

Coleman not going to United

Recent reports suggested that the Ireland full-back, who is having his best season at Goodison Park and is the club’s second-highest scorer with seven goals, was in advanced talks to be reunited with former boss David Moyes in Manchester.

However, Martinez not only dismissed the speculation but said Everton were looking to reward the younger players who have progressed under his leadership with improved contracts in the close season.

“It must be a different Seamus Coleman because we’ve not had a conversation with anyone,” he said.

“Seamus has been having a very good season and we want that to continue, and in the next 10 games it is important he carries on with the same levels he has shown, developing his football.

“He is becoming a very important player at Everton and he will become a very important player for his national team, and we want Seamus to be here for a very long time. The players we have at the club now, we have a clear strategy of how we want to keep this club together.

“We have a new generation coming through and we want to keep the senior players for as long as we can. It will not change for any media speculation. We will always reward young players who do well and as they change their role within the squad it is only normal to be rewarded.”

Martinez also reiterated his hope that Ireland midfielder Darron Gibson could make his comeback for Everton before the end of the season.

Gibson suffered serious knee ligament damage during the World Cup qualifier against Kazakhstan at the Aviva Stadium last October and had initially been expected to miss the rest of the season. But the Everton boss now thinks he will be back in action before May, along with the club’s other long-term casualty Arouna Kone.

However, there is bad news for another Irish midfielder, with Andy Reid suffering a new injury setback after his recent return from a hernia operation. The Nottingham Forest man was forced off with a hamstring strain in last weekend’s scoreless draw with Doncaster Rovers and will now be out of action for three weeks.

Meanwhile, the FAI have confirmed Ireland’s friendly game against Italy will go ahead at Craven Cottage, London on May 31, six days after the home friendly against Turkey.

However, while the association has said it is in talks about further pre-World Cup friendlies, there is still no official confirmation of expected games in the United States against Costa Rica in Boston on June 5 and Portugal in New Jersey on June 10.

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