Wednesday 21 March 2018

Martinez 'weighing up offer' from Reds

Mark Ogden

Wigan Athletic chairman Dave Whelan claims Roberto Martinez has been made an offer by Liverpool's American owners and will hold further talks with the club over their managerial vacancy next Tuesday.

Although sources at Anfield have privately insisted that no job offer has been made and that their search for a successor to the sacked Kenny Dalglish is continuing, discussions between Martinez and Liverpool's principal owner, John W Henry, in Miami on Thursday are understood to have been positive.

Whelan has already warned Liverpool that he will demand compensation in the region of £2m to £3m if Martinez replaces Dalglish.

But he has also claimed that Martinez's determination to retain control over football matters -- potentially an area of conflict in terms of Liverpool's plans to appoint a sporting director -- could prove a deal-breaker should talks proceed to the point of the Spaniard being formally offered the manager's job at Anfield.

"Roberto went to Miami yesterday and had a very constructive meeting with the owner of Liverpool," Whelan said. "They're going to talk again on Tuesday.

"They have made Roberto an offer and Roberto has agreed to consider it. He's asked what his responsibilities are, because they are American owners and the rules and regulations they set down are a little bit different to what the English set down for football.

"Roberto is a seven-days-a-week, 12-hours-a-day worker. I don't think they realise how hard he works. I know he won't move anywhere unless he's fully in charge."

Although Liverpool's search for a new manager appears to be descending further into farce with each passing day -- Martinez was pictured strolling through Miami with Henry by a passer-by on Thursday -- the American owners remain keen to explore their options.


Whelan's daily bulletins on the progress of their talks with Martinez have left the Liverpool hierarchy unimpressed and the message from Anfield last night was a steadfast insistence that the Wigan manager has not been offered a role at the club.

But whether Martinez stays or goes, Whelan has called on the former Swansea manager to make a decision next week.

Whelan said: "I desperately want to keep Roberto, but he's having another talk with them on Tuesday, when he says a decision will be made. I have said I would like to know a decision by next Thursday.

"If we lose him -- which I don't want to -- we've got to move and appoint somebody for Wigan Athletic."

Meanwhile, Liverpool forward Luis Suarez has reopened the controversy following his eight-match ban and £40,000 fine for racially abusing Manchester United defender Patrice Evra by describing his suspension as "strange and unbelievable."

Suarez was found guilty of calling Evra "negro" during the Premier League clash with United last October and dismissed as an unreliable witness by an independent commission.

But Suarez has admitted he remained angered by the commission's verdict. He said: "The suspension, I suppose, you could call strange and unbelievable. Without a single shred of proof, they suspended me.

"I accepted it without saying anything because they could have made the ban longer and it would have just made the whole thing continue, but my conscience is completely clear, and so is that of the club and my family.

"There was not a single convincing proof that I had done any of the things they accused me of doing.

"I had team-mates and friends of both colours all the time in the national team, in Liverpool, in Holland, where the majority (of the players) are from Surinam, and I never had any problem with them." (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent

Sport Newsletter

The best sport action straight to your inbox every morning.

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport