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 By Kevin Palmer

Shaun Maloney to join MLS side Chicago Fire from Wigan Athletic

Shaun Maloney had been keen to play in Major League Soccer.

Shaun Maloney is set to join Chicago Fire on Saturday after the Major League Soccer club agreed a fee with Wigan Athletic.

The Fire have been keen to sign Maloney, who turns 31 on Saturday, for some time but have only now been able to agree a fee with Championship club Wigan.

"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 boss Malky Mackay told BBC Radio Manchester

Wigan confirmed earlier this month that they had accepted a bid from Leicester City for Scotland international Maloney but the move fell through as the Premier League side could not agree personal terms.

ESPN FC has been told that Maloney, who began his career with Celtic and also had a stint with Aston Villa, had turned down offers to stay in England as he had always been keen to explore the possibility of playing in MLS.

Maloney's contract at Wigan is due to expire at the end of June and the club were eager to cash in rather than let him leave on a free transfer, despite finding themselves immersed in a relegation battle.

"There's a deal been struck as to why Shaun's not going to be waiting until the summer," Mackay added. "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."

Mackay also confirmed on Friday that midfielder Ben Watson is set to join fellow Championship side Watford.

"Ben's down at Watford at the moment talking to them and maybe doing his medical today," Mackay said. "He's a London boy and the family will be moving back down to that area as well. I've got to be realistic as far as he's concerned."

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