Martinez 'interested' in Celtic post

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The Independent Online

Roberto Martinez looks set to ask Swansea for permission to speak to Celtic over their managerial vacancy after apparently expressing interest in the post.

Swansea turned down an initial request from Celtic but chairman Huw Jenkins admitted he would not stand in Martinez's way if the Spaniard insisted on talks.

The 35-year-old appears destined to do so when he returns from holiday tomorrow.

"Managing Celtic is one of the top jobs in European football," he said in the Scottish Daily Express.

"Any young, aspiring manager with ambition would be interested in a job like that.

"It gives you the chance of being involved in Champions League football and the opportunity to win silverware every season in Scotland.

"Anyone would be interested in a job like this. However, everything would have to be sorted with Swansea first.

"I have an agreement in place with the Swansea chairman as to what would happen and I'd want that to be honoured."

But the likelihood of Celtic facing competition from Wigan grew today as Latics boss Steve Bruce broke off from his holiday to discuss personal terms with Sunderland.

Martinez enjoyed adulation from Wigan fans during his playing career and sources at Swansea believe that would be his most likely destination if he were to leave Wales.

Jenkins has also admitted Real Sociedad have made enquiries about the Spanish manager.

However, Martinez has four years left on his contract and City may demand £2million compensation for a manager who led them to the Coca-Cola League One title in his first full season and eighth place in the Championship this season.

Celtic have refused to comment on the approach but other names are still in the frame to replace Gordon Strachan.

West Brom have repeatedly stated there has been no official approach for Tony Mowbray while Motherwell manager Mark McGhee and Dundee United boss Craig Levein have consistently been linked with the post.

Owen Coyle was thought to be Celtic's first choice and, although he pledged his commitment to Burnley before going on holiday at the weekend, he is yet to sign an extended contract at Turf Moor.

Everton manager David Moyes has ruled himself out but Charlie Nicholas insists his former Celtic team-mate is the calibre of appointment the club should be making - and not Martinez.

"I would be surprised if Celtic fans would be captivated by the news that Celtic are interested by Martinez," Nicholas told BBC Sport Wales.

"I have to say I'm quite surprised about it. Celtic is a club that is obviously close to my heart but they are a club who seem to be going from manager to manager in terms of budget management.

"And unfortunately I think whoever the manager is, he is going to be controlled and asked to be a glove puppet and financial monitor rather than anything else."

Nicholas, who had two spells with Celtic, has been impressed by Martinez's football philosophy but questioned his ability to attract big-name players to Parkhead.

"He plays a lovely, passing, European style and Celtic fans would like that," the former Arsenal player added.

"But Celtic fans are looking for a big name to bring big-name players and the first reaction, in my mind, would be the Celtic fans saying he would be just controlled by the financial guys."

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