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?
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

General Election 2015: ‘We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon’, says Ed Balls

'We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon'

In an exclusive interview, Ed Balls says he won't negotiate his first Budget with SNP MPs - even if Labour need their votes to secure its passage
VE Day 70th anniversary: How ordinary Britons celebrated the end of war in Europe

How ordinary Britons celebrated VE Day

Our perception of VE Day usually involves crowds of giddy Britons casting off the shackles of war with gay abandon. The truth was more nuanced
They came in with William Caxton's printing press, but typefaces still matter in the digital age

Typefaces still matter in the digital age

A new typeface once took years to create, now thousands are available at the click of a drop-down menu. So why do most of us still rely on the old classics, asks Meg Carter?
Discovery of 'missing link' between the two main life-forms on Earth could explain evolution of animals, say scientists

'Missing link' between Earth's two life-forms found

New microbial species tells us something about our dark past, say scientists
The Pan Am Experience is a 'flight' back to the 1970s that never takes off - at least, not literally

Pan Am Experience: A 'flight' back to the 70s

Tim Walker checks in and checks out a four-hour journey with a difference
Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics - it's everywhere in the animal world

Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics

Voting, mutual back-scratching, coups and charismatic leaders - it's everywhere in the animal world
Crisp sales are in decline - but this tasty trivia might tempt back the turncoats

Crisp sales are in decline

As a nation we're filling up on popcorn and pitta chips and forsaking their potato-based predecessors
Ronald McDonald the muse? Why Banksy, Ron English and Keith Coventry are lovin' Maccy D's

Ronald McDonald the muse

A new wave of artists is taking inspiration from the fast food chain
13 best picnic blankets

13 best picnic blankets

Dine al fresco without the grass stains and damp bottoms with something from our pick of picnic rugs
Barcelona 3 Bayern Munich 0 player ratings: Lionel Messi scores twice - but does he score highest in our ratings?

Barcelona vs Bayern Munich player ratings

Lionel Messi scores twice - but does he score highest in our ratings?
Martin Guptill: Explosive New Zealand batsman who sets the range for Kiwis' big guns

Explosive batsman who sets the range for Kiwis' big guns

Martin Guptill has smashed early runs for Derbyshire and tells Richard Edwards to expect more from the 'freakish' Brendon McCullum and his buoyant team during their tour of England
General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

On the margins

From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'