Fire could be closing in on Maloney

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Scotland’s Shaun Maloney, center, is challenged by Croatia’s Mateo Kovacic, left and Mario Mandzukic during a 2013 World Cup qualifier in Zagreb, Croatia. | Associated Press

The Fire’s pursuit of Scotland and Wigan Athletic midfielder Shaun Maloney has gone through ups and downs, twists and turns and any other set of clichés you can think of for a winding tale.

The latest turns, however, sound like good news for the Fire.

Per multiple reports, the Fire and Maloney have agreed to personal terms. Maloney, who turns 32 this Saturday, would likely be the Fire’s third Designated Player signing of the offseason after the acquisitions of David Accam and Kennedy Igboananike.

To acquire Maloney, the Fire still need to reach an agreement with the second-division English club.

Earlier this month it was expected that Maloney would join the English Premier League’s Leicester City but talks between him and the club over a new contract broke down. Wigan manager Malky Mackay told the team website that “Chicago Fire are another club that have a keen interest in Shaun, but that wouldn’t be until the end of his contract.”

Despite that, the Fire would prefer to sign Maloney as soon as possible and want to have him for the entire season, not the summer when his current contract expires. All offseason, Fire coach Frank Yallop has stressed the importance of “hitting the ground running” to start 2015, and it figures that would include having Maloney for as much of preseason training as possible.

In addition to the Fire and Leicester, Maloney been linked to a host of clubs in England and also Scottish powerhouse Celtic. Maloney spent two stints with Celtic, appearing in 215 games for the Glasgow giants.

There have also been reports that Maloney would prefer to stay in England.

The Fire report for training camp Sunday and their first media availability is scheduled for Monday.

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