Journalist Graeme Bailey cites a unnamed 'source' close to the Ireland midfielder that claims he is unhappy with an apparent lack of respect shown by the club regarding a new contract.
Manager Roberto Martinez has previously stated he intends to offer McCarthy, who joined from Wigan in 2013, a new long-term deal.
That has yet to materialise though and it appears McCarthy's representatives have cranked up the pressure on Everton by leaking quotes to the press.
Goal say their source told them:
"This is not about money, in no way shape or form.
"It is about respect, and there is little doubting that James and his representatives feel that that Everton have shown him very little in the past 12 months. It is now a matter of principle."
Now I am not in possession of the facts, nor know any inside information, but this is my take on this story:
This sounds all very Raheem Sterling-esque to me, with mischievous agents once again at the heart of it all.
Agents love to leak quotes like these to journalists, who will gladly publish them in order to maintain a relationship that could yield rewards further down the line.
You scratch my back, I scratch yours.
I can almost hear the conversation, with the agent asking the journalist to write this story in order to strong-arm Everton in hurrying up the contract talks. In return they will promise them a scoop in the near future.
There is no doubt that McCarthy deserves a new deal to reward the excellent start his Goodison career but to resort to such tactics in order to force a deal is disappointing, if unsurprising.
Tottenham have inevitably been linked with a move for 24-year-old but Everton will be reluctant sellers given he has three years left on his deal.
My personal view is that McCarthy will eventually sign a contract extension at Everton, but I fear the lead up to that conclusion will leave a bitter taste.