Roberto Martinez rejects approach from Aston Villa

Wigan manager Roberto Martinez feels he owed it to the club and chairman Dave Whelan to reject overtures from Aston Villa.

The Spaniard has today turned down the chance to succeed Gerard Houllier at Villa Park in a repayment of loyalty to the Latics.



Martinez, who took charge at the DW Stadium two years ago, has now been offered a pay rise and a new three-year contract by Whelan.



Whelan stood by Martinez when the club flirted with relegation from the Barclays Premier League last season - escaping the drop only on the final day - and the 37-year-old wants to repay that faith.



Martinez said: "Over the last two years the chairman has been very supportive to me and loyal, and now I feel I need to be loyal and supportive back to him.



"I haven't finished my job at Wigan Athletic - there is much work still to be done.



"I don't know how long that will take but such is the belief that I have always had that I would only ever decide to move once the club is ready for a new manager."



Whelan has already admitted that he expects Martinez to move to a bigger club in future but was always hopeful he could persuade him to stay this time.



The pair have a good relationship dating back to when Martinez first joined Wigan as a player in 1995.



Whelan told Sky Sports News: "Roberto is staying, that is the great news. I had a gut feeling that he wanted to stay at Wigan.



"He is signing a new three-year contract today and obviously we have had to give him an increase in basic salary and incentives.



"But money has not been what this has been about.



"Villa will be disappointed but I am over the moon and I am sure every Wigan supporter will join me in saying it is fantastic and we're so pleased to have Roberto.



"I don't think we were really close to losing him but he has to consider his future, he is in football.



"He is going places, we all know that. Aston Villa are a bigger club and when you get a club like that wanting your services, it is something to be proud of.



"I would never have blamed him if he'd gone and would have wished him the best of luck."









Martinez has earned a reputation for playing attractive football during his time in charge at Wigan and during his previous, promotion-winning stint with Swansea.



Villa turned their attention to him earlier this week after their interest in former Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez and ex-England boss Steve McClaren cooled.



They are now left to look for alternative candidates. Bolton's Owen Coyle has previously been linked but Mark Hughes does not appear to be in the running despite his recent resignation at Fulham.



A Villa statement read: "The club would like to thank Wigan Athletic Football Club and its chairman, Dave Whelan, for their professionalism in dealing with our request to speak to Roberto Martinez.



"Roberto's qualities as a young and aspirational manager ensured him of a position high on our shortlist of potential new managers.



"Given that he had one year remaining on his contract at Wigan, we made an official approach through the proper channels, though we were aware of a commitment he had made to his club to agree and sign a new contract following the final game of last season.



"Roberto met with his chairman earlier this week and he has made the decision to honour his commitment to Wigan.



"Therefore, we have not met Roberto and we have not had the opportunity to discuss the vacant managerial role with him.



"We remain focused and are working hard to secure the best candidate for Aston Villa who will complement the club's commitment to be true to our heritage, competitiveness and passionate fanbase, and will have the new manager in place to prepare the players for the pre-season programme and next season's campaign."

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Rocky road: Dwayne Johnson and Carla Gugino play an estranged husband and wife in 'San Andreas'
filmReview: In the face of all-round devastation, even Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson appears a little puny
Arts and Entertainment
Bright lights, big city: Melrose Avenue in Los Angeles by dusk
books
News
i100
Sport
Harry Kane makes Paul Scholes' Premier League team of the season
footballPaul Scholes on the best players, managers and goals of the season - and the biggest disappointments
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

Fifa corruption: The 161-page dossier that exposes the organisation's dark heart

The 161-page dossier that exposes Fifa's dark heart

How did a group of corrupt officials turn football’s governing body into what was, in essence, a criminal enterprise? Chris Green and David Connett reveal all
Mediterranean migrant crisis: 'If Europe thinks bombing boats will stop smuggling, it will not. We will defend ourselves,' says Tripoli PM

Exclusive interview with Tripoli PM Khalifa al-Ghweil

'If Europe thinks bombing boats will stop smuggling, it will not. We will defend ourselves'
Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles: How the author foretold the Californian water crisis

Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles

How the author foretold the Californian water crisis
Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison as authorities crackdown on dissent in the arts

Art attack

Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison
Marc Jacobs is putting Cher in the limelight as the face of his latest campaign

Cher is the new face of Marc Jacobs

Alexander Fury explains why designers are turning to august stars to front their lines
Parents of six-year-old who beat leukaemia plan to climb Ben Nevis for cancer charity

'I'm climbing Ben Nevis for my daughter'

Karen Attwood's young daughter Yasmin beat cancer. Now her family is about to take on a new challenge - scaling Ben Nevis to help other children
10 best wedding gift ideas

It's that time of year again... 10 best wedding gift ideas

Forget that fancy toaster, we've gone off-list to find memorable gifts that will last a lifetime
Paul Scholes column: With the Premier League over for another year, here are my end of season awards

Paul Scholes column

With the Premier League over for another year, here are my end of season awards
Heysel disaster 30th anniversary: Liverpool have seen too much tragedy to forget fateful day in Belgium

Liverpool have seen too much tragedy to forget Heysel

Thirty years ago, 39 fans waiting to watch a European Cup final died as a result of a fatal cocktail of circumstances. Ian Herbert looks at how a club dealt with this tragedy
Amir Khan vs Chris Algieri: Khan’s audition for Floyd Mayweather may turn into a no-win situation, says Frank Warren

Khan’s audition for Mayweather may turn into a no-win situation

The Bolton fighter could be damned if he dazzles and damned if he doesn’t against Algieri, the man last seen being decked six times by Pacquiao, says Frank Warren
Blundering Tony Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

Blundering Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

For Arabs – and for Britons who lost their loved ones in his shambolic war in Iraq – his appointment was an insult, says Robert Fisk
Fifa corruption arrests: All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue

Fifa corruption arrests

All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue, says Ian Herbert
Isis in Syria: The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of President Assad and militant fighters

The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of Assad and Isis

In Syrian Kurdish cantons along the Turkish border, the progressive aims of the 2011 uprising are being enacted despite the war. Patrick Cockburn returns to Amuda
How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields: Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape the US

How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields

Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape to the US
Stephen Mangan interview: From posh buffoon to pregnant dad, the actor has quite a range

How Stephen Mangan got his range

Posh buffoon, hapless writer, pregnant dad - Mangan is certainly a versatile actor