Sunday 22 October 2017

Toffees fork out £2m sweetener to land Martinez

Roberto Martinez
Roberto Martinez

Chris Bascombe

ROBERTO MARTINEZ is set to be appointed as Everton manager after a compensation deal of around £2m was agreed with Wigan.

Martinez held two meetings with Everton chairman Bill Kenwright last week, having been given permission to meet the club by Dave Whelan and there are now no obstacles in his way to taking over on Merseyside.

The two chairmen were discussing a package to enable Martinez to make the switch, Whelan confirming an agreement last night.

"Bill Kenwright and myself have agreed a deal," said Whelan, who added he anticipated a formal offer to Martinez in the next 12 hours.

Martinez has been the prime candidate to replace Manchester United-bound David Moyes from the outset despite an extended list of alternatives.

In recent days German coach Ralf Rangnick had emerged as a possible rival to Martinez, but Kenwright's instincts have always favoured the Wigan manager.

The path is now clear for the 39-year-old to take charge. Martinez (above) announced last week he would be departing Wigan following their relegation to the Championship.

He informed Whelan of his decision but faced an anxious wait as Everton completed a thorough recruitment process.

Several internal candidates, such as Alan Stubbs, David Weir and Phil Neville, held talks regarding a promotion to the dugout. The quandary for Kenwright has been whether to favour a smooth transition under one of Moyes' men – a risk given none had any managerial experience – or appoint someone who would bring a freshness to the training ground.

In the end the allure of change has been too much to resist, with Martinez's achievements on a limited budget and understanding of how to get a team to play with style despite those restrictions inevitably attractive.

Martinez will have much to prove at Goodison, however, despite the overwhelming positive perceptions of his period in English football.

Everton have been on the fringe of the battle for Champions League football for successive seasons and it will be a tough ask for Martinez to replicate the levels of consistency under Moyes. The man whose football education began in Catalonia will, though, be confident he can repeat the trophy-winning success he enjoyed at Wigan.

Although Martinez has been granted a couple of interviews with Kenwright, many will argue his most effective job application was last March when his Wigan side defeated Everton 3-0 at Goodison in the FA Cup quarter-final.

Wigan won that day with the same entertaining brand of football that then saw off Manchester City in the final.

It is likely Martinez will bring his own back-room staff to Goodison. One of his key lieutenants at Wigan was chief scout Kevin Reeves, who also followed him from Swansea when he moved to the DW Stadium in 2009. (© Daily Telegraph).

Irish Independent

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