James McClean eyes up move to MLS

SoccerBy Kevin Palmer
James McClean off to America?
James McClean off to America?

Republic of Ireland winger James McClean is set to fly to America to meet with Major League Soccer clubs over a possible move from Wigan.

McClean is eager to leave Wigan after the 2013 FA Cup winners were relegated to League One last month, with a mass exodus of players expected as the Latics look to trim their wage bill.

As McClean is one of their higher paid players, the former Sunderland star has been encouraged to find a new club and he is interested in the prospect of joining Republic of Ireland stars Robbie Keane, Kevin Doyle and Sean St Ledger in MLS.

New York Red Bulls are among the clubs reported to be interested in McClean, with the 26-year-old open to the prospect of joining a league that will be boosted by the arrivals Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard on July 1st.

Republic of Ireland boss Martin O'Neill has insisted that he has no issue with his players playing in MLS and has hinted he would consider a trip to America to watch players if required.

"We have Robbie over there and Kevin Doyle as well, so it is something that is starting to develop now," said O'Neill last month.

"I have no problem with players going to America to play and so long as they are fit and playing well, they can be considered for the Ireland squad."