Saturday 24 February 2018

Whelan joy as Martinez commits to Wigan cause

John Percy

ROBERTO MARTINEZ has agreed to stay with Wigan for another season after crunch talks with Latics chairman Dave Whelan in Jersey yesterday.

Whelan last night confirmed that Martinez had been approached by Aston Villa but the Spaniard has opted to pledge his future to Wigan.

Martinez also rejected the chance to take over at Villa last June and his decision will still come as a bitter blow to Randy Lerner, who had played a patient waiting game in his bid to appoint him.

Whelan said: "Roberto is staying at Wigan and of course I am absolutely delighted. He was never offered the job at Liverpool because he wasn't happy with the way the job was presented to him.

"He has had some talks with Villa but he's not going to go there. Villa are a fantastic club with great supporters but I never thought they were big enough for him.

"If Roberto is to go anywhere, it will be to one of the top clubs in Europe. We're just so pleased he's staying with us for another season."

Villa are now expected to make an approach to Norwich for Paul Lambert, who has always been prominent in their thoughts since Alex McLeish's dismissal earlier this month.

They believe the highly rated Scot has the strong leadership qualities required for the post and it is understood that Lambert would be receptive to the move.

Lambert has masterminded two automatic promotions at Carrow Road and comfortably guided Norwich to safety in the Premier League, but there have been rumours of friction between the manager and his chief executive David McNally in recent months and a parting of the ways could even be inevitable regardless of Villa's interest. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent

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