McCann leaves Latics to join United

Chris McCann
Chris McCann

Wigan Athletic will be seeking further reinforcements in midfield after Chris McCann confirmed he is off to America and a new life at Atlanta United.

The 28-year-old was out of contract this summer, and only last month told the Evening Post he was hopeful of securing a new deal at the DW Stadium.

Boss Gary Caldwell was also keen to keep hold of the Irishman, who was an integral part of last season’s promotion-winning side.

However, after weeks of negotiations, the two parties could not come to an agreement, and McCann has opted to try his luck across the pond with Atlanta, a new franchise who will join Major League Soccer in 2017.

“We are thrilled Chris has chosen to sign for Atlanta United,” said technical director Carlos Bocanegra.

“He is a player we feel will be very important as we build our roster.

“With over 350 first-team appearances and Premier League experience, he will bring a valuable veteran presence on to the field and into our locker room.”

McCann signed for Latics from Burnley in the summer of 2013, linking up for a second time with his former Turf Moor boss Owen Coyle.

He had been tipped to link up with Coyle for a third time this summer, with Blackburn reportedly interested in taking him to Ewood Park.

But he has chosen to take his young family Stateside, with his new club keen to take advantage of his versatility.

“We see Chris coming in to play a midfield role, but having the capacity to play in defence as well,” added Bocanegra.

“He has good versatility, technical ability and can contribute with goals and assists from various positions on the field.”

McCann will only arrive in Atlanta in January 2017 ahead of their debut campaign in MLS, before when he’s expected to take up a short-term deal with an English club.

Whether that’s Latics remains to be seen, although it remains a distinct possibility given the good terms on which he departed.

“I would like to thank Wigan Athletic for an amazing three years at the club,” he tweeted. “There’s been some ups and downs, but I couldn’t have finished on a more positive note.

“Unfortunately we couldn’t come to agree new terms.

“I’ve had a great time and made friends for life there and also big thanks to all the fans for their support.

“I would like to wish the club, staff and players the very best for the upcoming season.”