In a curious interview with London Evening Standard journalist Mihir Bose, James McCarthy revealed he is "flattered" by apparent interest from Man Utd.
McCarthy was linked with a move to Old Trafford earlier this summer but the rumour was swiftly rebuffed by the club, with a story on the Sky Sports website being taken down in response.
There have been no rumours since, until now, but even this article smacks of a journalist twisting a player's comments to suit his own agenda.
When asked about the apparent interest from United, McCarthy said:
"If a club like Manchester United are interested, obviously you are doing a good job." Then with a laugh he adds: "We will see what happens."
That's it. No other source of evidence of United's interest.
Yet those 20 words are enough to headline the article and suggest McCarthy is virtually in a United shirt already.
That's not to say McCarthy won't join United eventually, his progress has been meteoric over the past 12 months and he looks destined for the top. But Everton have said repeatedly they will not sell, McCarthy is tied down to a long-term deal and new United manager Louis Van Gaal has already said he is not going to buy players for the sake of it.
Therefore he is highly unlikely to move this transfer window but such speculation is not helpful for both player and club.
Elsewhere in the article, McCarthy revealed that Tottenham were interested in signing him last summer but did not come up with the cash.
This is enough, apparently, to suggest that Tottenham are interested in him again. Nowhere in the article is there any evidence of this yet in the opening paragraph McCarthy is apparently "wanted" by Tottenham.
Given it is a London Evening Standard article it makes sense to have a London angle, but it is very frustrating when that angle appears to be baseless rumour and conjecture.
Away from the transfer rubbish and McCarthy had some interesting things to say about Everton and Roberto Martinez, who also signed him for Wigan from Hamilton as an 18-year-old:
"I loved playing for Wigan. They won the FA Cup but [with their relegation] getting back to playing in the Premier League was a big target and it was wonderful to do so with Everton.
"It was an eye opener: all that history and the fan base. The fans have been brilliant from day one. I’m loving it. That is what you dream of as a kid.
"I’ve known him five years now and he’s brilliant. Last season, the lads here knew he wanted to change the system they were used to.
"They adapted very quickly and well. They are a great set of lads and, with the gaffer bringing in Gareth Barry, I have just loved it. We had the highest points’ tally we have ever had in the Premier League which was brilliant."
McCarthy also insists that the squad will take the Europa League seriously this season, even though missing out on the Champions League was a big blow.
"You would like to get into the Champions League but, thankfully, we’ve got the Europa League. A lot of people say the Europa League is not such a big thing but it was a massive achievement for each and everyone of us at the club. It will be tough but we will give it everything.
"Obviously, it will be a long season with the Europa League and I am sure the gaffer will bring in rotation. To be honest, I’m looking forward to getting into the season and getting going again. It is a big season ahead."
All good stuff that is sadly shunted down to the bottom of the article at the expense of hit-attracting transfer guff.
In conclusion, I highly doubt McCarthy will leave the club this transfer window and will continue to be one of Everton's key players alongside Gareth Barry, giving us a solid platform to build on as we begin yet another exciting season.