With the potential departures of captain Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri, Wenger has again turned his attentions to the 20-year-old.
The Frenchman is preparing to lose his two key midfielders despite continually insisting they are going nowhere.
However the move for McCarthy clearly signifies that one or both of them will definitely be leaving the Emirates Stadium.
An enquiry was made earlier in the summer after the Republic of Ireland international’s impressive form last season at the DW Stadium.
Latics boss Roberto Martinez rebuffed that approach insisting the former Hamilton Academical midfielder was going nowhere.
He said: “The players are under contract.
“We’ve got a lot of good players and it is understandable people are looking at them.
“There’s been a lot of media speculation – that is part of being in the transfer window – but I am more focused on trying to reach the targets we set, get as fit as we can and enjoy every player we have in the squad.”
Liverpool have also been linked with a move for the player although it seems that Wenger want’s to beat the Merseyside’s to his signature.
Wigan will want to hold onto him after selling Charles N’Zogbia to Aston Villa and it will take some serious money for them to even consider letting McCarthy leave.