Liverpool target James McCarthy will be offered new and improved terms on his existing Wigan Athletic deal according to the Daily Mirror.
Latics boss Roberto Martinez is preparing to open negotiations with the highly rated midfielder in an attempt to ward off interest from potential Barclays Premier League suitors.
The 20-year-old Republic of Ireland international has attracted interest from a number of clubs following an impressive season at the DW Stadium, with Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish thought to be preparing a bid this summer.
The Reds instead opted for Jordan Henderson who moves to Anfield in a deal that could rise to £20million.
Martinez's recent decision to turn done a job offer from Aston Villa in favour of signing a new deal at Wigan, could influence McCarthy to do the same, rather than complete a big-money move to Liverpool or Chelsea – another club keeping an eye on his situation.
Settled in the area, McCarthy is said to be in no rush to move, and so talks have started with his agent about an extension and hike of the current salary agreed when he first joined from Hamilton Academicals in Scotland.
Wigan chairman Dave Whelan has given the green light to talk improved terms while Liverpool and Chelsea turn their attentions elsewhere as both respective clubs step up their player recruitment search ahead of the new season.
Liverpool's priorities remain a left-back reinforcement as well as one, if not two wide midfield players, so any chance of a summer deal that sees McCarthy move to Anfield now look to be dead in the water.
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