The midfielder has impressed in the Latics side after arriving from Hamilton Academicals in 2009 and Merseyside rivals Liverpool have already been heavily linked with the 21-year-old.
Everton boss David Moyes is on the look out for a new central midfielder and reports have claimed he could chance his arm with a bid when the transfer window re-opens.
Wigan will demand big money for the midfielder and they have proven on a number of occasions they are not prepared to be bullied into selling on the cheap by so called bigger clubs.
Chelsea were made to fight all the way for striker Victor Moses in the summer and Wigan eventually allowed him to move on once their valuation was met.
The same is likely to apply to McCarthy who will be reluctantly sold if the price is right.