Wigan Athletic midfielder James McCarthy is a summer transfer target for Liverpool according to Setanta Sports.

The highly rated Republic of Ireland international has caught the eye with a number of fine performances for the Latics since his 2009 move from Scottish side Hamilton Academicals.

Liverpool boss Kenny Dalglish is said to be a big fan of the 20-year-old star, who previously turned down the chance to move to Anfield, and instead opted to cut his Barclays Premier League teeth with Roberto Martinez's side.

Reds assistant manager Sammy Lee was spotted at the DW Stadium last weekend, said to be running the rule over McCarthy in last weekend's 1-1 draw with Everton.


The People previously reported how Liverpool were preparing to test Wigan's resolve with a £7million bid in the summer, but that figure has since been inflated due to increased interest in the player.

A deal will largely be based around whether or not the Latics can avoid relegation this season.

If they do drop down to the Championship, then Liverpool are ready to pounce and may fancy their chances of securing McCarthy's signature for a knockdown price.

It looks set to be another busy summer for Liverpool when the transfer window reopens in June, with Reds owners Fenway Sports Group preparing to plough more money into the Anfield club in a bid to return it to its former glories.

Dalglish has already outlined a number of potential targets for director of football Damien Comolli to scout, with McCarthy believed to head the summer recruitment drive.

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