Scotland ace Shaun Maloney joins Chicago Fire from Wigan

Shaun Maloney is excited by the MLS move.

Shaun Maloney has left Championship strugglers Wigan to join Major League Soccer side Chicago Fire.

The winger, who is out of contract in the summer, moves for an undisclosed fee after three-and-a-half years with the Latics.

"Sometimes in football, you have to recognize that a move is for the benefit of all parties," Wigan boss Malky Mackay told the club’s official website.

"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. 

"We need players who are 100 per cent focused on being here and helping the club." 

Maloney, who has been capped 37 times by Scotland, had been on course for a Premier League switch to Leicester before the deal fell through over personal terms but says he is relishing a fresh challenge.

"I’m very happy to be joining the Fire," Maloney told Chicago Fire’s official website.

"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."

Maloney joined Wigan from Celtic in August 2011 and won the FA Cup with the club two years later, scoring 15 goals in 91 appearances in all competitions.