Everton talks set to begin after Roberto Martinez moves on and the cream of Wigan likely to follow

Chairman Dave Whelan tells Everton he would be the perfect man to take over from Moyes

Roberto Martinez has begun his Wigan Athletic exit, entering talks with Everton, and some of Wigan's best players are set to follow him out of the door.

The FA Cup-winning manager looks to have brought to a conclusion his four-year spell at the DW Stadium, which ended with relegation from the Premier League earlier this month. He is the clear front-runner for the vacancy at Goodison Park and will talk to Everton this week about succeeding David Moyes, who has left to manage Manchester United.

Wigan chairman Dave Whelan granted Everton and Martinez permission to talk to one another but he insisted that Everton will have to pay Wigan the £2m remaining on Martinez's contract.

"Everton chairman Bill Kenwright rang me last week and, being a perfect gentleman, asked if our talks broke down could he have permission to talk to Roberto," Whelan revealed this morning. "I immediately said yes. I have given them permission to talk to Roberto.

"He feels he's not the man to lead us back into the Premier League. I've got to accept what he feels."

Everton spoke to in-house candidates – including David Weir – two weeks ago, external candidates who were out of contract last week, and are this week are speaking to those, like Martinez, who are contracted at other clubs. But the 39-year-old Spaniard is the clear favourite to take over at the side who finished sixth in the Premier League this season.

Wigan, though, will be playing in the Championship in the 2013-14 season, and with the manager gone many of their best players are now looking for the exit. Shaun Maloney, Wigan's player of the season, is understood to be keen to leave so that he is playing Premier League football again next season. Maloney has two years left on his contract at Wigan but is certain to attract top flight interest.

James McCarthy, another creative player who joined from the Scottish Premier League, is also sure to attract interest from England's biggest clubs, and is similarly keen to move on for the sake of his career. Chelsea, Liverpool and Arsenal have a long-standing interest in the 22-year-old and have been closely monitoring developments.

Arouna Koné, who impressed with 13 goals in his first season in English football, despite going to the Africa Cup of Nations mid-season, is another who is certain to be popular with Premier League clubs and not keen to stay in the second tier.

Those are likely to be the highest-profile departures, but James McArthur and Callum McManaman are likely to attract interest while Ben Watson is also understood to be keen to keep playing in the top flight.

Three Wigan Athletic players are out of contract this summer and they are all certain to leave.

Paraguayan international centre-back Antolin Alcaraz has no intention of signing a new deal and will leave to play top-flight football somewhere in Europe. He is understood to have offers from the Premier League and Bundesliga but Portuguese giants Benfica lead the race for him.

Maynor Figueroa, who has been at Wigan for five and a half seasons, is also out of contract and is set to sign with a Premier League club. West Ham United were favourites for his signature but Hull City, whose manager Steve Bruce brought Figueroa to England, are also in the race.

Argentine Franco Di Santo is also a free agent this summer.

A mass exodus from Wigan will mean a very difficult job for whoever replaces Martinez this summer, but Whelan said he was getting on with the business of finding the right man. Wigan are currently inviting applications, and the early favourites are departing Manchester United coach Rene Meulensteen and Martinez's assistant Graeme Jones.

"It is so sad to lose him, but football being football I've got to get on, get that vacancy filled and find a manager to take us back to Premier League," Whelan said. "I want the best manager I can get hold of. You've always got to look on the bright side."

Next season they will have a 46-game Championship season, at least six games in the Europa League, which they enter at the group stage and, rather less onerously, the Community Shield against Moyes's Manchester United in early August. Given all the likely departures, it will be a difficult task.

Whelan was pleased with the team Martinez looks likely to join.

"Everton are a fantastic club, very local, very, very well run, great fan base, even bigger than Wigan's, very happy club, I recommended Roberto to go and talk to Everton.

"If he decided to leave us, he is a must for Everton. He plays football from back to front, and Everton like to play football from back to front. In my mind he is tailor-made to manage Everton."

News
peopleHowards' Way actress, and former mistress of Jeffrey Archer, was 60
Sport
Romelu Lukaku puts pen to paper
sport
News
Robyn Lawley
people
Arts and Entertainment
Unhappy days: Resistance spy turned Nobel prize winner Samuel Beckett
books
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
people
Life and Style
Troy Baker and Ashley Johnson voice the show’s heroes
gamingOnce stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover
News
i100
Life and Style
Phones will be able to monitor your health, from blood pressure to heart rate, and even book a doctor’s appointment for you
techCould our smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases via Health Kit and Google Fit?
News
people
Extras
indybest
Travel
Ryan taming: the Celtic Tiger carrier has been trying to improve its image
travelRyanair has turned on the 'charm offensive' but can we learn to love the cut-price carrier again?
Sport
Usain Bolt confirms he will run in both the heats and the finals of the men's relay at the Commonwealth Games
commonwealth games
Life and Style
Slim pickings: Spanx premium denim collection
fashionBillionaire founder of Spanx launches range of jeans that offers 'thigh-trimming construction'
News
Sabina Altynbekova has said she wants to be famous for playing volleyball, not her looks
people
News
i100
Life and Style
tech'World's first man-made leaves' could use photosynthesis to help astronauts breathe
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

Save the tiger: The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

With only six per cent of the US population of these amazing big cats held in zoos, the Zanesville incident in 2011 was inevitable
Samuel Beckett's biographer reveals secrets of the writer's time as a French Resistance spy

How Samuel Beckett became a French Resistance spy

As this year's Samuel Beckett festival opens in Enniskillen, James Knowlson, recalls how the Irish writer risked his life for liberty and narrowly escaped capture by the Gestapo
We will remember them: relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War

We will remember them

Relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War
Star Wars Episode VII is being shot on film - and now Kodak is launching a last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Kodak's last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Director J J Abrams and a few digital refuseniks shoot movies on film. Simon Usborne wonders what the fuss is about
Once stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover

Acting in video games gets a makeover

David Crookes meets two of the genre's most popular voices
Could our smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases via Health Kit and Google Fit?

Could smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases?

Health Kit and Google Fit have been described as "the beginning of a health revolution"
Ryanair has turned on the 'charm offensive' but can we learn to love the cut-price carrier again?

Can we learn to love Ryanair again?

Four recent travellers give their verdicts on the carrier's improved customer service
Billionaire founder of Spanx launches range of jeans that offers

Spanx launches range of jeans

The jeans come in two styles, multiple cuts and three washes and will go on sale in the UK in October
10 best over-ear headphones

Aural pleasure: 10 best over-ear headphones

Listen to your favourite tracks with this selection, offering everything from lambskin earmuffs to stainless steel
Commonwealth Games 2014: David Millar ready to serve up gold for his beloved Scotland in the end

Commonwealth Games

David Millar ready to serve up gold for his beloved Scotland in the end
UCI Mountain Bike World Cup 2014: Downhill all the way to the top for the Atherton siblings

UCI Mountain Bike World Cup

Downhill all the way to the top for the Atherton siblings
Save the tiger: The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The big cats kept in captivity to perform for paying audiences and then, when dead, their bodies used to fortify wine
A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery all included in top 50 hidden spots in the UK

A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery

Introducing the top 50 hidden spots in Britain
Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

How a disease that has claimed fewer than 2,000 victims in its history has earned a place in the darkest corner of the public's imagination
Chris Pratt: From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

He was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star