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Wigan Athletic's James McClean talks about his future: "This next move is going to be the most crucial in my career"

We haven't heard much from James McClean since the RBNY-bound rumor about James McClean started rolling. Generously, he has put that right for us...

Ian Walton/Getty Images

It has been a busy few days for James McClean, the Ireland international winger currently contracted to Wigan Athletic but thought to be on his way to a new employer, perhaps even the New York Red Bulls.

After the RBNY rumors really heated up - McClean was in NYC; McClean was wearing Red Bulls gear; RBNY was pointedly offering no comment after having been happy enough to comment on other recent rumored transfer targets - we received news that Wigan might not be letting its Player of the Year slip way quite so easily.

An alleged $3.9 million price tag is something of a deterrent, at least to MLS clubs not traditionally associated with paying out substantial transfer fees for anything less than their most marketable players. And the simple fact Wigan is saying McClean is one of its players retained for next season might be taken to imply the club is not in a selling mood at all.

One thing missing from this discussion has been McClean himself. This is not unusual: players don't often wade in to the rumor mill if they can help it, especially if - as has been repeatedly suggested - negotiations are ongoing.

But BBC Radio Foyle [tune in around the 1:15:00 mark] caught up with McClean, who was back home in Ireland and attending the EA Sports Cup quarterfinal between Derry United (his former club) and Shamrock Rovers.

It was a brief interview, and McClean is an experienced pro who knows not to give too much away. But he is also an admirably straight-talking man. Asked about Wigan's season (39 points from 46 games; 23rd out of 24 teams in the Championship; relegated to League One), he called it "a car crash". Asked about Ireland's June Euro 2016 qualifier against Scotland, his assessment was forthright: "We don't win, we can kiss goodbye to France."

Not afraid to confront the hard truths, clearly.

So when he responded to the question of whether he might soon be a former Wigan Athletic player, it is significant that McClean replied "could well be."

Indeed, he confirmed he has "quite a number of options". But he did not specify what those options were, only that he was happy to "let the people that take care of that stuff do their jobs."

But coy isn't really McClean's style. Once he'd warmed up to the subject, he acknowledged that "this next move is going to be the most crucial in my career. There won't be any rushed decisions."

His interviewers were curious about whether he might be looking at a return to a club in the English Premier League, and McClean's reply did not quite address the question directly, in the sense that he did not say he was fielding any particular offers from Premiership teams.

Instead, he said, as you might expect, that "if the opportunity came about, if it was the right move, I would jump at the chance." But he also made clear that this was simply part of sharing "the same ambitions as every player": to play at the highest possible level. And, with reference to his particular career trajectory, he noted, "I have nothing to prove to nobody else, but something to prove to myself."

From this we may conclude that James McClean is certainly considering leaving Wigan. In point of fact, he wasn't at all shy about confirming that he was reviewing his options.

He won't be rushed, as is his absolute right. And we got no hints as to whether he's genuinely in contact with RBNY.

But he is definitely talking transfers with someone. A report in the Irish Independent suggested Ireland national team head coach Martin O'Neill is "sceptical" [that's how they spell it over there] about McClean moving to MLS. So RBNY fans hoping this particular rumor doesn't dead-end perhaps ought to hope the player and his coach don't get too chatty when the Ireland team gathers to prepare for its next match.