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. “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.” Press Association 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.
Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error Of course, unlike them Byron Scott is Laker Family … not that it means anything 18 months after posing with his old Showtime teammates at the introductory press conference.The organization now looks the other way as grisly development follows grisly development, waiting for the season and, presumably, Scott’s time as coach, to be over.Lighting up this netherworld during a recent game telecast, Clipper commentator Don MacLean mused, “I really wish Byron Scott would just give D’Angelo Russell the keys and say, ‘Go for it, man.’”This was mild enough, as was Scott’s smiling response:“First of all to Don, that’s why you’re not coaching, let’s put it that way.” What do you call a Laker coach in his second season?History.Mike Brown vanished five games into his second season.Mike D’Antoni resigned after two-plus seasons, all of it in the crosshairs after being hired over Phil Jackson. Actually, MacLean is more than a former player-turned-pundit, running pre-draft workouts that last spring included Russell, No. 1 pick Karl-Anthony Towns and No. 6 pick Willie Cauley-Stein.If that doesn’t make MacLean an NBA coach, it qualifies him to stand up for Russell.In good news for Laker fans, MacLean, who’s as tough-minded as Scott, told Petros and Money on KLAC-570 that Russell “might be the best passer I’ve ever seen….“If Byron Scott would just say, ‘You know what, D’Angelo? I don’t care if you turn it over 15 times tonight, you’re going to play 35 minutes.’“He will figure it out. He really will.”MacLean also critiqued Scott’s schemes (“archaic”) and the end result (“an undermanned team that has no clue.”)Awkward.Lakers fans also wonder why Russell plays behind Lou Williams amid reports the team is shopping Lou, Roy Hibbert and just about everyone but Kobe Bryant and their Lakers of the Future.For the 1,000th time, Scott said he was doing it to “protect” Russell, but that one is pretty old by February of a lost season.On the other hand, there’s no doubt Russell is improving under Scott’s regimen.There’s more at work holding D’Angelo. Scott is disinclined to let him run pick-and-roll every time down, as Steph Curry and all the big-time point guards do with the teetering Hibbert’s problems catching the ball on the move.Of course, Scott could run it with Bryant or Julius Randle but hasn’t.If there are prodigies like Karl-Anthony Towns, the Lakers of the Future are in that two- or three-year limbo it takes to see if they’ll be stars or mere pieces of the puzzle.If Russell has a long way to go, he’s night and day better than he was at the start.Randle escaped Scott’s bench to become a double-double machine again. Small as he is (6-7 3/4 at the pre-draft camp), he’s relentless and hard-working, making him a decent bet to develop the mid-range shot and right-handed counters he needs.Promising as Jordan Clarkson is, he was better as a rookie, averaging 17-5-5 and shooting 48 percent after the All-Star break with Bryant out.In a sign of the times, the one thing going right has nothing to do with the Lakers’ future.With all hope lost by Thanksgiving, Kobe’s farewell, which should have been ceremonial, was heralded as the purpose of the season.Rebuilding was deferred on account of Tough Love, further stunted by the still-commanding Kobe.Of course, the Lakers’ best move is losing enough to draw a top-three pick that it wouldn’t have to send to Philadelphia.Don’t look now, but the Lakers could blow that, too. Their two-game win streak brought them to 11 wins, one less than Brooklyn in the race for second-worst record.If the Lakers aren’t as archaic as charged, they’ll presumably want a modern look from someplace like, say, Golden State.It remains to be seen whether they land Warriors assistant Luke Walton, a beloved former Laker, but it’s hard to believe that they won’t be in there pitching.One thing you have to give Scott: Come what may, he’s always Byron Scott.This mess is organizational. It may or may not be the worst Lakers season, but it’s certainly the most confused.It would be nice if the same front office that said that Kobe’s farewell comes first would tell Scott to play the kids, at last.At present, they’re too tough without enough love. Too much good-bye, not enough hello.Mark Heisler has written an NBA column since 1991 and was honored with the Naismith Hall of Fame’s Curt Gowdy Award in 2006. His column is published Sundays in Los Angeles News Group print editions.