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."

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
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

Major medical journal Lancet under attack for 'extremist hate propaganda' over its coverage of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict

Lancet accused of 'anti-Israel hate propaganda' over coverage of Gaza conflict

Threat to free speech as publishers of renowned medical journal are accused of inciting hatred and violence
General Election 2015: Tories and Lib Dems throw their star names west to grab votes

All noisy on the Lib Dems' western front

The party has deployed its big guns in Cornwall to save its seats there. Simon Usborne heads to the heart of the battle
How Etsy became a crafty little earner: The online market has been floated for £1.2bn, but can craft and capitalism coexist?

How Etsy became a crafty little earner

The online market has been floated for £1.2bn, but can craft and capitalism coexist?
Guy Ritchie is the latest filmmaker to tackle King Arthur - one of our most versatile heroes

King Arthur is inspiring Guy Ritchie

Raluca Radulescu explains why his many permutations - from folk hero to chick-lit hunk - never cease to fascinate
Apple Watch: Will it live up to expectations for the man or woman on the street?

Apple Watch: Will it live up to expectations?

The Apple Watch has apparently sold millions even before its launch tomorrow
Don't fear the artichoke: it's a good cook's staple, with more choice than you'd think

Don't fear the artichoke

Artichokes are scary - they've got spikes and hairy bits, and British cooks tend to give them a wide berth. But they're an essential and delicious part of Italian cuisine
11 best men's socks

11 best men's socks

Make a statement with your accessories, starting from the bottom up
Paul Scholes column: Eden Hazard would be my Player of the Year – but I wonder if he has that appetite for goals of Messi or Ronaldo

Paul Scholes column

Hazard would be my Player of the Year – but I wonder if he has that appetite for goals of Messi or Ronaldo
Frank Warren: Tyson Fury will be closely watching Wladimir Klitschko... when he wins it'll be time to do a deal

Frank Warren's Ringside

Tyson Fury will be closely watching Wladimir Klitschko... when he wins it'll be time to do a deal
London Marathon 2015: Kenya's brothers in arms Wilson Kipsang and Dennis Kimetto ready to take on world

Kenya's brothers in arms take on world

Last year Wilson Kipsang had his marathon record taken off him by training partner and friend Dennis Kimetto. They talk about facing off in the London Marathon
Natalie Bennett interview: I've lost track of the last time I saw my Dad but it's not because I refuse to fly

Natalie Bennett interview: I've lost track of the last time I saw my Dad

Green leader prefers to stay clear of her 'painful' family memories but is more open about 'utterly unreasonable' personal attacks
Syria conflict: Khorasan return with a fresh influx of fighters awaiting the order to start 'shooting the birds'

Khorasan is back in Syria

America said these al-Qaeda militants were bombed out of the country last year - but Kim Sengupta hears a different story
General Election 2015: Is William Cash the man to woo Warwickshire North for Ukip?

On the campaign trail with Ukip

Is William Cash the man to woo Warwickshire North?
Four rival Robin Hood movies get Hollywood go-head - and Friar Tuck will become a superhero

Expect a rush on men's tights

Studios line up four Robin Hoods productions
Peter Kay's Car Share: BBC show is the comedian's first TV sitcom in a decade

In the driving seat: Peter Kay

Car Share is the comedian's first TV sitcom in a decade. The programme's co-creator Paul Coleman reveals the challenges of getting the show on the road