Belfast Telegraph

Whelan to keep Martinez

Wigan chairman Dave Whelan would like manager Roberto Martinez to remain at the club, but is prepared to allow him to leave should an offer be made this summer.

Martinez's reputation has been enhanced over recent weeks owing to Wigan's stunning end to the season with Athletic, basement dwellers in February, comfortably avoiding the drop courtesy of a run of seven victories from their last nine games.

Whelan told Sky Sports News: "Roberto and I have a complete understanding where we trust each other implicitly. If anything comes up, Roberto will see me and I will be the first to know."

The 38-year-old Spaniard has been installed as the favourite for the vacant Aston Villa job - a role he turned down last summer - while he has also been linked with a summer move to Liverpool.

And, although Whelan believes Martinez - with whom he has a 20-year association - will eventually leave the DW Stadium, he has not heard anything to suggest that will be happening any time soon.

"I have spoken to Roberto about the interest that is obviously in him from straight away one club, and Aston Villa were interested in him last year," he added.

"We haven't received any notification at all that Aston Villa want to talk to him for this particular job, so there`s nothing we can add on that."

Whelan has long predicted that Martinez will end up managing one of the game's elite, but is not worried about being caught off guard should the former Latics captain decide to move on.

He added: "It makes me feel very satisfied and confident that Roberto is a very honest person and if anybody approaches him he will tell me because, if he feels the club is right and I feel the club is right, I will back him to the hilt. He's just one honest gentleman and that's very rare in football.

"I am not aware of any approach from Aston Villa or any other club at present, but if an approach comes, Roberto will inform me. He's a very quick learner and he's going to go to one top club, that's for sure, and I will back him when that time comes."


From Belfast Telegraph