Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish has already signed three top-class midfielders this transfer season, and he looks ready to sign another.
While the midfield position is definitely not a position of need for the Anfield club, you have to ask yourself whether Dalglish could resist a move to sign the youngster. Liverpool have been tracking the Scottish-born centre midfielder since his days at Hamilton Academical, but they were happy to let him join Wigan two summers ago and let him develop there.
Last season, McCarthy impressed at Wigan, playing in 24 games and becoming Wigan's arguably most important player as they managed to stay up.
The 20-year-old is one of the brightest prospects in the Premier League and chose to play internationally for Ireland rather than Scotland.
Should he join Liverpool, he would be pushed into a logjam of central midfielders. With McCarthy's high skill level and potential, he would overtake most of the senior players on the depth chart and battle England international Jordan Henderson for playing time.
McCarthy plays a similar game to Gerrard and would project as a long-term replacement for the Kop legend.
Wigan will surely continue to try to negotiate a new contract with the youngster, but if they are unable to and decide to cash in now rather than risk losing him for free next season, Dalglish will surely look make an offer.
McCarthy would be available for around 15 million pounds.