Belfast Telegraph

Martinez 'in Liverpool talks'

Wigan chairman Dave Whelan claims manager Roberto Martinez is meeting with Liverpool's owners on Thursday afternoon.

The Spaniard was on holiday in the Caribbean but the Latics chairman said he has travelled to Miami to open discussions with Fenway Sports Group over the vacancy at Anfield following Kenny Dalglish's sacking last week.

"I got a phone call this morning and Roberto was on his way to America, he's flying down to Miami and is meeting Liverpool now, as we speak," Whelan told ESPN.

"I didn't ask him what he has decided to do but I told him I wanted it sorted out sooner rather than later. If it's yes to Liverpool I will accept it and get on with life. But if it's no, I'll be delighted.

"I would love him to stay, I hope he will stay but I told him I need an answer in the next seven days."

Whelan added on Sky Sports News: "He has to listen to what they are offering. He is just doing what I gave him permission to do. This visit to America is a brief intrusion into his holiday but it is something he has to do."

Martinez has emerged as a front-runner after reports suggested former Porto and Chelsea manager Andre Villas-Boas had fallen out of the reckoning. FSG have spent the last week since sacking Dalglish scouring the globe for a replacement.

Although their widespread trawl has attracted some criticism after a couple of knock-backs, it is part of the strategy they have chosen to implement as part of a re-organisation of the structure at Anfield which will see the appointment of a technical director above the new manager.

That approach has been criticised by Whelan, who added on ESPN: "My understanding is that Liverpool are seeking a final shortlist of six managers whom the owners would like to interview.

"I am amazed that they think they can do that, it sounds very much an American way of dealing with these issues in sport, but I would wonder how those six managers might feel."

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