Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 23 August 2014

Martinez puts contract talks on ice

Wigan have so far failed to persuade Maynor Figueroa to stay

Wigan boss Roberto Martinez has put all contract talks on hold until the Latics' top-flight future is secure.

Efforts to persuade Maynor Figueroa, Franco di Santo and Antolin Alcaraz to sign extensions to deals that expire this summer have so far failed.

Now Wigan are in the relegation zone, with only five games remaining to save themselves starting with a home tie against Tottenham, Martinez feels it would be a distraction for negotiations to continue. He said: "At the moment, we are at a stage in the season where everything gets frozen because the only thing that matters is the football club."

And Latics boss Martinez added: "Right now, all the individual decisions are not important.

"Everything is surrounding the final five games in the league and making sure we achieve our aim.

"The club is the priority. At the end of the season we will look into every individual because there are four or five who need to be given some consideration about the next step in their careers."

Figueroa, who joined Wigan in 2008, has been tipped to follow former team-mate Mohamed Diame to West Ham in the summer. Former Chelsea forward Di Santo has been linked with Lazio, whilst Alcaraz is bound to have his suitors given the authoritative manner of his performances since returning from a groin injury in February.

Unfortunately for the Paraguayan, he is now facing another spell on the sidelines after suffering a hamstring problem in last week's Premier League defeat at West Ham which places his appearance in the FA Cup final in doubt.

The 30-year-old has been told he will spend at least three weeks on the sidelines, which is exactly the time-frame from the West Ham match until the Wembley showpiece with Manchester City.

As Alcaraz is such a key figure within the Wigan defence, Martinez is bound to give him every opportunity to recover - however, he accepts the South American is cutting it fine.

Nightlife galleries

More

Latest Sport News

Stats Centre