Contract talks between James McCarthy and Wigan Athletic have broken down, alerting the interest of Arsenal, Liverpool and Chelsea according to the Daily Mail.
The highly rated 20-year-old Republic of Ireland international is valued at around £15million by Latics chairman Dave Whelan, who is determined to keep McCarthy at the DW Stadium this season.
Having attracted interest from a number of Barclays Premier League 'big boys', Wigan boss Roberto Martinez wanted to open negotiations with his midfield star over the possibility of a new long-term deal in a bid to see off the threat of Arsenal and particularly Liverpool.
Reds boss Kenny Dalglish has been consistently linked with McCarthy, who he was said to be considering bringing to Anfield ahead of the 2011-12 campaign.
However, after signing the likes of Jordan Henderson and Charlie Adam already this summer, it is unclear whether Liverpool would be genuinely interested in another midfield recruit - though it is obvious that the Reds have changed their tact in terms of transfer policy as they look to recruit the brightest young talent available.
McCarthy certainly falls into that category having garnered admirers after a number of impressive performances for Wigan last season, including Gunners boss Arsene Wenger.
With Arsenal currently embroiled in a fight to keep club captain Cesc Fabregas, it remains to be seen whether Arsenal fans would be happy for the club to replace their prized asset at the Emirates Stadium with someone of McCarthy's stature.