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Whelan begs Martinez not to walk away


Roberto Martinez

Roberto Martinez

Roberto Martinez

WIGAN chairman Dave Whelan remains hopeful manager Roberto Martinez will choose to fulfil his legacy at the club and stay on for at least another year.

Whelan is set to find out later today whether the Spaniard has decided to walk away from the DW Stadium after the club's relegation from the Premier League – and an FA Cup win – in search of a new challenge.

More opportunities are rising by the day with Everton and Stoke both looking for managers, while La Liga side Malaga are on the hunt for a successor to Manuel Pellegrini, who is expected to take over at Manchester City.

However, Whelan would like Martinez to finish what he started four years ago – and possibly stay beyond the 12 months remaining on his contract.

"I told him exactly as I saw it: his future for the next two years lies with Wigan Athletic," Whelan said after meeting with Martinez yesterday.

"If he wants to opt out of his contract and go then there is a bit of compensation to be paid but I hope that won't be the case. I hope he will extend his contract. As I see it there are two (Premier League) clubs available and does each club want him? We are talking about Roberto for the whole of Europe.

"I am not sure which club or the other has approached him but I am sure the club which will approach him will be bigger than Wigan."

Martinez left his meeting with Whelan asking for time to think over his future.

Whelan agreed but asked for a quick decision as he has to prepare the club not only for life in the Championship but also a Europa League campaign.

Meanwhile, the speed of former Stoke manager Tony Pulis's departure may have taken some at the club by surprise but the 55-year-old admits he knew the writing was on the wall before the end of the season.

Pulis yesterday issued a statement through the League Managers' Association, who stressed the split was amicable, saying he was disappointed but accepted chairman Peter Coates wanted to go in a different direction.

The Welshman was well aware of the disaffection growing among a section of fans. "When things go wrong it is magnified 10 times more in the Premier League," he said. "I'm not dismissing them (the fans) because some are genuine supporters who want the club to do well, others do it for different reasons."