Everton say they will decide whether James McCarthy will undergo an operation for a groin injury tomorrow as speculation continues that he is set for a move away from the club.

The midfielder was left out of the Everton squad that defeated Stoke City 1-0 today just a day after it was reported that he had informed club officials he wants to leave the Premier League club.

The injury puts his participation in the World Cup qualifier against Serbia next Monday in serious doubt with Ronald Koeman confirming after the match that a decision will be made in the next 24 hours with regards to the injury.

“James McCarthy has a groin problem and we will decide tomorrow whether he needs an operation,” the Dutchman said.

The 25-year-old was a key member of the Republic of Ireland squad that reached the last-16 of Euro 2016 before bowing out to France, but reports in England are linking him with a move from Merseyside.

Koeman has altered the formation at Everton, preferring Gareth Barry, Ross Barkley Idrissa Gana Gueye in the central roles.

McCarthy has been deployed on a right wing-back role in their two opening Premier League games before being hauled off after 38 minutes against West Bromwich Albion last weekend.

The 39-cap international has failed to make the match-day squad for the game at Goodison Park, but did start in midfield against Yeovil Town midweek in the EFL Cup.

The Daily Mail reported that McCarthy player spoke to “senior club officials” on Friday to reiterate his desire to play regular first-team football and speculation will continue that he will depart before the close of the transfer window.

McCarthy joined the Toffees for a club transfer fee of £13m from Wigan Athletic three years ago, but is likely to command a price tag of at least £20m for all would-be suitors.

Newcastle, Sunderland, Bournemouth, Crystal Palace, Watford and Celtic are all believed to have expressed an interest in the player.