Shaun Maloney: Wigan man eyes stay in England if he exits Latics

By Chris McLaughlinBBC Sport
Shaun Maloney in action for Wigan
Shaun Maloney has been with Wigan since being sold by Celtic in 2011

Scotland midfielder Shaun Maloney would prefer to extend his stay in English football should he leave Wigan Athletic during the January transfer window.

The 31-year-old has been linked with a third spell at Scottish champions Celtic after an offer from Leicester City was turned down.

And it is believed that sides in Major League Soccer are also hopeful of attracting him to the United States.

But it is understood that Maloney would prefer to end his career in England.

The midfielder, who has 37 Scotland caps, has discussed his situation with national manager Gordon Strachan.

Wigan manager Malky Mackay admitted at the end of December that Maloney could leave the DW Stadium during January if a deal "suits Shaun and suits ourselves" as there was interest from "a few clubs".

Ahead of Saturday's trip to face Birmingham City, the former Celtic defender said: "The boys have trained well this week and Shaun Maloney has been looking really sharp.

Celtic captain Scott Brown exchanges pendants with PSV Eindhoven counterpart Andrew Guardado
Celtic are on a mid-season break in Gran Canaria, where they faced PSV Eindhoven

"I thought when he came on at the weekend he did well and he's carried that on in training leading up to the weekend.

"I've got to credit Shaun for his attitude, what with the current speculation surrounding him. It really shows the measure of him."

Leicester manager Nigel Pearson declined to comment on Thursday on reports that the Premier League club had made an improved offer for the Scot after an initial bid was rejected earlier in the week.

Meanwhile, Celtic manager Ronny Deila was quoted this week as saying that he is aware of Maloney's qualities.

Speaking in Gran Canaria, where the Glasgow side are having a mid-season winter break, the Norwegian reportedly said: "He looks like a Celtic player."

Maloney joined Wigan from Celtic for £850,000 in 2011 having returned to the Scottish club after a year with Aston Villa.

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