Maloney seals America switch

Shaun Maloney who has left Wigan and joined Chicago Fire

Shaun Maloney who has left Wigan and joined Chicago Fire

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SHAUN Maloney’s move from Wigan Athletic to MLS outfit Chicago Fire has been confirmed.

The two clubs agreed an undisclosed fee ahead of Latics’ 1-0 defeat to Huddersfield on Saturday and the deal was finalised late on Sunday night.

Maloney Chicago

Maloney Chicago

The 31-year-old spent three-and-a-half years at Wigan, scoring 15 goals in 91 appearances. The most memorable of those came against Manchester United in 2012 as Latics recorded their first ever win over the Red Devils during their great escape from Premier League relegation.

Another fine contribution from Maloney came in the FA Cup final when his corner found Ben Watson – who left for Watford on Friday – and the rest, as they say, is history.

Manager Malky Mackay said: “Sometimes in football, you have to recognise that a move is for the benefit of all parties. Shaun is nearing the end of his contract and as a club we had to make a decision.

“It was a great opportunity for him personally and this made sense from everyone’s perspective.

Can't quite believe it - Maloney takes a long hard look at the FA Cup

Can't quite believe it - Maloney takes a long hard look at the FA Cup

“We need players who are 100% focused on being here and helping the club.

“We have a responsibility to do what is best for the long term interests of the football club and he leaves with our blessing and best wishes for the future.”

Maloney told his new club’s website: “I’m very happy to be joining the Fire. I owe a lot to the manager Frank Yallop and the owner Andrew Hauptman for getting this done.

“I certainly didn’t expect it to get done this quickly, so I appreciate the faith that they’ve shown in me.

“It’s a brilliant league and I’m really hopeful that I’m going to enjoy Chicago and be a big part of what the club is building. I’d also like to show respect for my previous club and thank the owner and manager over at Wigan for letting this happen.”