Belfast Telegraph

Mackay: McManaman a wanted man

West Brom face a fight from three other Barclays Premier League clubs to sign winger Callum McManaman from Wigan, who look set to lose their FA Cup final heroes Shaun Maloney and Ben Watson.

Latics boss Malky Mackay confirmed the Sky Bet Championship club had turned down the Baggies' second offer for McManaman, 23, this week but they are not the only top-flight club showing interest in the ex-Everton trainee.

Hull are another of the quartet of clubs tempted by a player Roy Hodgson said he considered for a senior England call-up in 2013.

"The second bid has been rejected, that's where we are with that," Mackay said of West Brom's latest approach.

Asked about interest from former Latics manager and current Hull boss Steve Bruce, the Scot added: "There's been no formal bid but there's been an enquiry. There's been an enquiry from a few clubs but I have great respect for Steve Bruce so I don't want to say any more than that."

Mackay later admitted there were four Premier League clubs keepings tabs on McManaman, who is expected to be in Wigan's squad to face Huddersfield on Saturday after serving a three-match suspension.

McManaman shone in the 2013 FA Cup final against Manchester City and the two men who were involved in the goal which provided the most memorable moment in Wigan's entire history that day are set to depart.

The club have reached an agreement with MLS side Chicago Fire to send Scotland international Maloney to the United States, while Ben Watson has joined fellow Championship club Watford until the end of the season.

It was Maloney's corner which Watson headed home in the 1-0 victory over Manchester City and the expected exits of those two players represents the end of an era for the club.

"We've agreed terms with Chicago Fire for Shaun to leave imminently," said Mackay.

"That's going to be happen in the next day or so.

"There's a deal been struck as to why Shaun's not going to be waiting until the summer. Chicago and ourselves have come to an agreement that he can leave immediately.

"He's a terrific lad but he wants to further his career somewhere else now."

Speaking before Watson's move was confirmed, Mackay said: "He's a terrific lad but he's out of contract at the end of the season.

"He's a London boy, his family will be moving back to that area and I've got to be realistic. He's been a terrific servant for this football club, obviously he scored the winning goal in a very historic game for this football club, so there's fond memories there, and for the last seven weeks he's been a joy to be around.

"He wants to play every week between now and the end of the season and with his lifestyle he wanted to get back down to London. I'm not going to stand in the boy's way when his mind is somewhere else."

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