Chicago Fire head coach Frank Yallop has told MLSsoccer.com that he has not given up hope of signing Wigan Athletic midfielder Shaun Maloney, despite fresh reports that Leicester City have agreed a fee in excess of £1 million.
The Scotland international, whose contract at the DW Stadium is set to expire in the summer, was first linked to the MLS club in November, but the likes of Leicester and former club Celtic are since reported to have entered the discussion.
He is understood to be open to switch across the Atlantic, with a lucrative offer said to be on the table, but Yallop acknowledges that the lure of the Premier League might prove too good to turn down.
“We’ve shown interest in Shaun,” the former Ipswich Town defender said. “He’s one of the players we targeted for this season, it’s just sitting as is right now.
“We can’t really do much because obviously he’s still contracted to Wigan. There’s no denying we have interest in him, just waiting to see where it goes.
“All we can do at this point is show interest and that’s what we’ve done,” he continued. “It’s basically up to Wigan. They’ve got to decide if they want to sell him and if we can continue talking to him. It’s really in their hands, just waiting to see what they want to do.”
Maloney, 31, has recorded two goals and two assists in 21 total appearances for Wigan this season, having missed large chunks of the 2013-14 campaign with back and hip injuries.
His addition would have proved a major coup for the Fire, who are looking to rebound from 2014’s ninth-place finish in the Eastern Conference, but it now appears as though he could be heading back to the English top-flight instead.