Manchester United Identify £7m Wigan Athletic Youngster As January Target

United boss a fan of Irishman.

Sir Alex Ferguson is keen to bring Wigan Athletic midfielder James McCarthy to Old Trafford in January, it has emerged.

McCarthy signed new five-year deal the DW Stadium in August 2011 but United boss Ferguson is a big fan of the youngster, who he believes can improve under the guidances of the likes of Paul Scholes and Ryan Giggs.

United believe that a bid in the region of £6m should be enough to prize McCarthy from Wigan chairman Dave Whelan, who paid £1.2m for the player in 2009.

The 21-year-old joined Wigan from Hamilton Academicals, having made nearly 95 league appearances for the Accies since making his debut as a 15-year-old.

Ferguson considered a bid for the youngster when he was still in Scotland but allowed McCarthy to move to the DW and has kept tabs on him since.

The pass-master, who has chosen to represent the Republic of Ireland rather than Scotland, has become a regular for Roberto Martinez’s impressive Latics side and, with Brazilian Anderson set to leave Old Trafford next summer, the Premier League runners-up have decide to move for the young Celt.

Whelan has made it clear that he will not stand in the way of Wigan’s players making dream moves to the league’s biggest clubs and allowed Victor Moses to join Chelsea this summer.

It is thought the Lancashire club would be willing to sell McCarthy to United for a fee of around £7m.

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