Dave Whelan keen to keep Roberto Martinez at Wigan amid Everton speculation

The pair are due to hold discussions at the end of the season

Roberto Martinez's future at Wigan is set to be decided after the team's final match of the season when he meets chairman Dave Whelan.

The pair are due to hold discussions following the FA Cup winners' closing Premier League game against Aston Villa on Sunday.

Whelan expects the talks to be "honest" and claimed he would accept any decision from the Spaniard should he want to leave the DW Stadium.

The 76-year-old does, however, hold out hope he could persuade Martinez to remain and lead Wigan's bid to return to the Premier Legaue after their relegation, following eight years in the top-flight, was confirmed with a 4-1 defeat at Arsenal last night.

"At the end of the season what we always do is get together and have a talk," Whelan told BBC Radio 5 Live.

"Roberto is so honest and I'm honest with him. We put our cards on the table and whatever Roberto says we will accept and we will honour.

"We'd all love him to stay."

Martinez, who led Wigan to their first FA Cup success at the weekend, has been linked as a possible replacement for David Moyes at Everton.

Whelan had to fend off interest in Martinez last summer and admitted interest from bigger clubs in his manager had remained strong.

"He's being chased regularly by some very, very big and wealthy clubs around England," he said.

"We'll have talks to persuade him; if we need to persuade him because he is a dedicated man.

"He goes by his word. He's so honest and we respect him enormously. Everybody in Wigan hopes that Roberto stays with us."

Whelan's desire to keep Martinez is understandable, with the club set to face a congested fixture list when they bid to make an immediate return to the Premier League next season.

Wigan's 1-0 FA Cup final win over Manchester City booked them a place in next year's Europa League, which will be added to the 46-game slog of a Championship campaign and cup competitions.

"We've got so many matches next season," Whelan said.

"We've got Europe and there is 46 games in the Championship. It's a fantastic challenge and a challenge we've got to take on board and get on with it and fight our way back to the Premier."

Whelan said he suspected the club were doomed to the drop following last week's 3-2 home defeat to Swansea - when they had twice led.

Victory at Wembley inspired hope of another league escape, but it was not to be as Wigan became the first club to win the FA Cup and go down in the same season.

"It's very unusual to win the cup and then get relegated. I don't think it has ever been done before," Whelan said.

"Wigan Athletic have never won the cup and it was a fantastic achievement but the writing was on the wall when we lost to Swansea at home.

"We should have won that match, but it's football. We've got to fight our way back next season."

Three goals in the space of eight minutes just after the hour mark last night from Theo Walcott, Lukas Podolski - who also scored in the first half - and Aaron Ramsey meant there was to be no fairytale ending for Martinez's men, despite another brave crack at the great escape.

"It is not one of those moments to be too sad - it is the opposite," Martinez said.

"To have eight years at this level is incredible. We have beaten every top club and financially we are in a strong position. As a Wigan fan, it is a time to be proud of what we have achieved.

"The FA Cup is an achievement we will never lose as a club. It is our first silverware, but it is a real shame it happens in the same season as relegation.

"You don't normally get teams good enough to win the cup going down - that is why it is difficult to take.

"When you walk into the dressing room after this match, it is heartbreaking.

"But we haven't been good enough in the defensive area and that is why we have been relegated."

PA

New Articles
tvDownton Abbey Christmas special
Arts and Entertainment
Wolf (Nathan McMullen), Ian (Dan Starky), The Doctor (Peter Capaldi), Clara (Jenna Coleman), Santa Claus (Nick Frost) in the Doctor Who Christmas Special (BBC/Photographer: David Venni)
tvOur review of the Doctor Who Christmas Special
News
peopleIt seems you can't silence Katie Hopkins, even on Christmas Day...
News
news
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Left to right: Stanley Tucci, Sophie Grabol and Christopher Eccleston in ‘Fortitude’
tvSo Sky Atlantic arrived in Iceland to film their new and supposedly snow-bound series 'Fortitude'...
Arts and Entertainment
Jenna Coleman as Clara Oswald in the Doctor Who Christmas special
tvForget the rumours that Clara Oswald would be quitting the Tardis
Arts and Entertainment
Japanese artist Megumi Igarashi showing a small mascot shaped like a vagina
art
News
The Queen delivers her Christmas message
newsTwitter reacts to Her Majesty's Christmas Message
Arts and Entertainment
tv
Life and Style
fashion
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

Christmas without hope

Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

The 'Black Museum'

After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

Chilly Christmas

Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all