Roberto Martinez appeared last night to have decided against a move to the Aston Villa managerial seat, despite the prospects of a vastly greater budget in what would have been a significant new step in his already meteoric career rise.
Villa approached Wigan chairman Dave Whelan last week to establish if they could speak to Martinez and the 37-year-old, who was offered a contract extension by Whelan, appears to have stuck to his conviction that he owes the sports retail entrepreneur one more year. Martinez has played a substantial role in overhauling all aspects of Wigan and has great conviction in his belief that his side had finally grown accustomed to his footballing culture in the last quarter of last season. Martinez is convinced Wigan can avoid another relegation scrap in the next season.
Villa have rejected Steve McClaren and concluded that Rafael Benitez's demands were too great, so the options are increasingly limited. The desire for a manager with Premier League experience makes Owen Coyle and Alan Curbishley candidates in what is becoming a difficult challenge for chairman Randy Lerner, following the departure of Gérard Houllier. The chances of Villa reconsidering their decision to pass over Mark Hughes, whom they felt acted badly in the way he left Fulham, still appear remote, despite the absence of contenders and the Welshman's strong track record.