The Royals stopper was thought to be undergoing a medical with Harry Redknapp’s side with a £4m offer having been accepted by the Championship outfit.
However it’s now understood that the Reds have matched their rivals’ bid and are now discussing a deal for the ‘keeper.
Brendan Rodgers is known to be on the lookout for an understudy to challenge the erratic Simon Mignolet, with McCarthy an option.
Sources close to QPR are still confident that they will lure him to Loftus Road, but Liverpool can offer the 24-year-old greater wages and the chance to play Champions League football.
Rodgers’ side have been chasing Sergio Romero of Sampdoria, but a deal for the Argentine has been stalling.
McCarthy impressed for Reading before they were relegated to the second tier, and is currently battling Adam Federici for a starting berth at the Madejski Stadium.