Wigan chairman believes Roberto Martinez will stay

Wigan chairman Dave Whelan expects Roberto Martinez to make a decision on his future in the next 24 hours - and thinks the Spaniard will reject Aston Villa's overtures to remain as Latics boss for at least another season.

Wigan chairman Dave Whelan expects Roberto Martinez to make a decision on his future in the next 24 hours - and thinks the Spaniard will reject Aston Villa's overtures to remain as Latics boss for at least another season.



Whelan last night granted Villa permission to talk to Martinez about the possibility of taking the helm at the midlands club.



Martinez is thought to be Villa owner Randy Lerner's first choice for the position, which was vacated by Gerard Houllier last week, although Bolton's Owen Coyle has been linked with the role too.



Whelan has shown complete faith in Martinez since he appointed the former Wigan player as manager in 2009, standing by him despite the club's flirtation with relegation.



The Latics chairman says the 37-year-old is free to join Villa if he likes, but is confident of hanging on to his man and has offered the Spaniard a new and improved contract to encourage him to stay.



"I had a good meeting with Roberto yesterday and the decision whether he is going to stay or go is entirely in his hands," Whelan told BBC Radio 5 Live.



"I will support him whichever way he wants to go.



"I've offered him an extension to his contract and a better contract, because his current deal is down to a year.



"I have asked him to make a decision and tell me and the rest of the world, and I think he will be doing that in the next 24 hours.



"My gut feeling is he will stay at Wigan, but he will move in 12 or 18 months or two years, and he will go to one of the top European clubs."



Whelan signed Martinez as one of the 'three amigos' alongside compatriots Isidro Diaz and Jesus Seba to play for Wigan in 1995.



He spent six years with the Lancashire club before eventually trying his hand at management with Swansea and then becoming Latics boss two summers ago.



He led Wigan to 16th place in the Barclays Premier League in his first term in charge and finished in the same position last season, just three points outside the relegation zone after a nail-biting end to the campaign.



The attractive style of play he employs has won him plenty of admirers within the game and Whelan accepts Villa are a big enough club to turn a manager's head - although he feels Martinez will not be easily convinced to walk away from the DW Stadium.



"You have got to be realistic about it," Whelan said.



"If someone comes in - a big club like Villa - and says 'we are going to double your wages', a lot of people would jump and say 'I am going to do that'.



"Roberto is not that kind of man. He thinks long and hard. He is into football hugely and is enjoying what he is doing at Wigan.



"He has learned so much and taught me so much. Together, we are a great partnership."



Houllier left Villa eight days ago after nine months in charge.



The Frenchman led the club to ninth in the table but his tenure was interrupted by heart problems which hospitalised him in April. The former Liverpool boss missed the last month of Villa's campaign and Lerner decided he could no longer carry on as manager.



Despite his record of keeping Wigan in the top flight for two successive years, the Villa job will be a big step up for Martinez should he agree to take charge.



Star striker Darren Bent committed his future to the club last week, but England winger Ashley Young seems likely to leave for Manchester United.



Young's representatives are understood to be in talks with United over a potential move to Old Trafford as he seeks Champions League football.



The 25-year-old, who moved to Villa from Watford in 2007, is in the final year of his current contract.



Stewart Downing also appears to need convincing that his future lies with Villa after refusing to begin talks over a new deal.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

Britain's 24-hour culture

With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

The addictive nature of Diplomacy

Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
Lady Chatterley's Lover: Racy underwear for fans of DH Lawrence's equally racy tome

Fashion: Ooh, Lady Chatterley!

Take inspiration from DH Lawrence's racy tome with equally racy underwear
8 best children's clocks

Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
Charlie Austin: Queens Park Rangers striker says ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

Charlie Austin: ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

After hitting 18 goals in the Premier League last season, the QPR striker was the great non-deal of transfer deadline day. But he says he'd preferred another shot at promotion
Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones