The Everton midfielder is not for sale - so must force a move himself if he wants to join the north London club.
Indeed, the north London side are reportedly in hot pursuit of the 24-year-old but the Toffees have taken a strong stance on the matter and are unlikely to budge.
Unless, of course, McCarthy can force the club's hand should he desire a move to Tottenham, report the Star. They liken the situation to that facing Leighton Baines, who was in the past backed into the same corner but decided against handing in any official transfer request.
The Modric experience
Modric's was initially rejected but, despite a move to Chelsea falling through, the Croatian eventually left Tottenham for Real Madrid.
It would be ironic for Spurs to capture a central midfielder in such fashion years later, then, were McCarthy to try and force a switch away from Everton.
The signs for now, though, are that the 24-year-old will be staying at Goodison Park.