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
Russia Today’s new UK channel began broadcasting yesterday. Discussions so far have included why Britons see Russia as ‘the bad guy’
news

New UK station Russia Today gives a very bizarre view of Britain

News
people
Voices
Left: An illustration of the original Jim Crowe, played by TD Rice Right: A Couple dressed as Ray and Janay Rice
voices

By performing as African Americans or Indians, white people get to play act a kind of 'imaginary liberation', writes Michael Mark Cohen

Arts and Entertainment
Keira Knightley and Benedict Cumberbatch at the premiere of The Imitation Game at the BFI London Film Festival
filmsKeira Knightley tried to miss The Imitation Game premiere to watch Bake Off
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
i100
Life and Style
fashion
Arts and Entertainment
Hand out press photograph/film still from the movie Mad Max Fury Road (Downloaded from the Warner Bro's media site/Jasin Boland/© 2014 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.)
films'You have to try everything and it’s all a process of elimination, but ultimately you find your path'
Arts and Entertainment
Imelda Staunton as Dolores Umbridge in the Harry Potter films
books

New essay by JK Rowling went live on Pottermore site this morning

News
people

Top Gear presenter is no stranger to foot-in-mouth controversy

News
i100
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

The drugs revolution starts now as MPs agree its high time for change

The drugs revolution starts now as MPs agree its high time for change

Commons debate highlights growing cross-party consensus on softening UK drugs legislation, unchanged for 43 years
The camera is turned on tabloid editors in Richard Peppiatt's 'One Rogue Reporter'

Gotcha! The camera is turned on tabloid editors

Hugh Grant says Richard Peppiatt's 'One Rogue Reporter' documentary will highlight issues raised by Leveson
Fall of the Berlin Wall: It was thanks to Mikhail Gorbachev that this symbol of division fell

Fall of the Berlin Wall

It was thanks to Gorbachev that this symbol of division fell
Halloween 2014: What makes Ouija boards, demon dolls, and evil clowns so frightening?

What makes ouija boards and demon dolls scary?

Ouija boards, demon dolls, evil children and clowns are all classic tropes of horror, and this year’s Halloween releases feature them all. What makes them so frightening, decade after decade?
A safari in modern Britain: Rose Rouse reveals how her four-year tour of Harlesden taught her as much about the UK as it did about NW10

Rose Rouse's safari in modern Britain

Rouse decided to walk and talk with as many different people as possible in her neighbourhood of Harlesden and her experiences have been published in a new book
Welcome to my world of no smell and odd tastes: How a bike accident left one woman living with unwanted food mash-ups

'My world of no smell and odd tastes'

A head injury from a bicycle accident had the surprising effect of robbing Nell Frizzell of two of her senses

Matt Parker is proud of his square roots

The "stand-up mathematician" is using comedy nights to preach maths to big audiences
Paul Scholes column: Beating Manchester City is vital part of life at Manchester United. This is first major test for Luke Shaw, Angel Di Maria and Radamel Falcao – it’s not a game to lose

Paul Scholes column

Beating City is vital part of life at United. This is first major test for Shaw, Di Maria and Falcao – it’s not a game to lose
Frank Warren: Call me an old git, but I just can't see that there's a place for women’s boxing

Frank Warren column

Call me an old git, but I just can't see that there's a place for women’s boxing
Adrian Heath interview: Former Everton striker prepares his Orlando City side for the MLS - and having Kaka in the dressing room

Adrian Heath's American dream...

Former Everton striker prepares his Orlando City side for the MLS - and having Kaka in the dressing room
Simon Hart: Manchester City will rise again but they need to change their attitude

Manchester City will rise again but they need to change their attitude

Manuel Pellegrini’s side are too good to fail and derby allows them to start again, says Simon Hart
Isis in Syria: A general reveals the lack of communication with the US - and his country's awkward relationship with their allies-by-default

A Syrian general speaks

A senior officer of Bashar al-Assad’s regime talks to Robert Fisk about his army’s brutal struggle with Isis, in a dirty war whose challenges include widespread atrocities
‘A bit of a shock...’ Cambridge economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

‘A bit of a shock...’ Economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

Guy Scott's predecessor, Michael Sata, died in a London hospital this week after a lengthy illness
Fall of the Berlin Wall: History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War

Fall of the Berlin Wall

History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War
How to turn your mobile phone into easy money

Turn your mobile phone into easy money

There are 90 million unused mobiles in the UK, which would be worth £7bn if we cashed them in, says David Crookes