Manchester United on trail of Wigan starlet McCarthy

Old Trafford scouts have highlighted the 22-year-old Republic of Ireland international as a potential summer target, with Liverpool also monitoring the highly-rated midfielder
By Paul Clennam

Manchester United are monitoring highly-rated Wigan midfielder James McCarthy, understands.

Scouts for the Premier League leaders have been tracking the progress of United loanee Angelo Henriquez at the DW Stadium this term but the 22-year-old Ireland international has also caught their eye.

Sir Alex Ferguson has been made aware of the midfielder's impressive performances for the relegation strugglers, and is keen to keep further tabs on the youngster believing him to have strong potential sell-on value, given his age.

The United boss is keen to accrue a group of talented youngsters to secure the club's long-term future at the top of the Premier League and McCarthy, who is thought to be available for around £10 million, would fit the ideal profile at Old Trafford.

McCarthy, who moved to Wigan from Hamilton Academical four years ago, signed a new five-year contract with the Latics in 2011, but Roberto Martinez is keen to conduct further talks regarding an extension to that deal in order to secure his future at the club.

The 22-year-old has become a pivotal member of Martinez's first-team squad at the DW Stadium, epitomising the club's attractive passing style alongside the likes of James McArthur and Jordi Gomez in the Wigan midfield.

Liverpool are also thought to be keeping tabs on the Ireland starlet, who has received 11 caps under Giovanni Trapattoni for the Boys in Green.

Meanwhile, on-loan Henriquez is continuing to be monitored closely by United's scouting team, despite the 18-year-old Chilean only making two league appearances for the Latics since his January move.

The Old Trafford outfit are also keen to send youngster Nick Powell on loan to a local Premier League or Championship club ahead of next season, with Wigan having been mooted as a potential destination.