McClean's hopes of dream Celtic switch foiled as Wigan hold firm
James McClean's dream move to Celtic was blocked by Wigan Athletic last night.
After an intense weekend of talks involving Derby County, Hull City and Scottish champions Celtic, the Irish international was forced to accept that his immediate future lies with Championship strugglers Wigan.
Having sold four of their highest earners in this transfer window, the Latics were adamant that in-form McClean would not be joining Shaun Maloney, Callum McManaman, Ben Watson and Adam Forshaw in exiting the DW Stadium.
And with 18 months left on his contract, there is no guarantee he will be leaving in June or July either, unless relegation-threatened Wigan suffer demotion to League One. In those circumstances, a move would be inevitable.
For now, though, McClean is staying, in spite of a number of enquiries made by three pursuers since Saturday.
Derby called first, suggesting they were prepared to make a bid, but were told in no uncertain terms that no deal was possible.
Next came Hull. Their interest didn't match Derby's in terms of intent, whereas Celtic showed considerably more conviction.
Yet Wigan refused to take down their not-for-sale sign.
And even when a loan move was suggested as a possibility, the Lancashire club's policy didn't shift.
And so McClean is staying, a victim of the fact he has endeared himself to Wigan's new manager Malky MacKay.
One Derry man who did arrive in Celtic yesterday, though, was Michael Duffy, a 20-year-old who signed a four-and-a-half-year deal with the club which will be worth £450,000 to the player and at least £150,000 to his former club Derry City.
Another Derry-born winger, Shane Ferguson, is moving to Rangers on loan from Newcastle United.