The speculation is over. Frank Yallop got his man.
Shaun Maloney was one of the first players targeted as a possible addition during Yallop's post season scouting mission and after a long courtship the deal is done. A source has confirmed to Fire Confidential, a BBC report this morning that Chicago and Wigan have agreed to a transfer fee for the player. Maloney will join the Fire for preseason rather than in July when his contract is set to expire. Contract terms had been settled after Maloney turned down a move to Leicester City and agreement on the transfer fee was all that remained. "We've agreed terms with Chicago Fire for Shaun to leave imminently, so that is something that is going to be happening in the next day or so," Wigan manager Malky Mackay told BBC Radio Manchester. "There's a financial situation and I'm respectful of the club's position - I've got to be prudent in terms of the saving that we will make on Shaun's wages and the transfer fee that can then be put to other things."
Pending the completion of league paperwork, the transfer will be finalized and Maloney will be the third Designated Player added to the roster this winter. Despite rumors and reports overseas that Maloney was headed elsewhere, Yallop remained confidently hopeful that a deal would be struck to land him in Chicago. "In talks with Shaun, he wants to come to us,” Yallop said this past Saturday on the Fire Confidential Live podcast. “It’s just obviously Wigan have the player and they own him until July. We’re just trying to work something out. I feel we’ll get something done, whether it’s yes or no, in the next two or three days, so that’s what we’re trying to do.”
This time, the Fire got it done.