Thursday 18 January 2018

Wigan gives his manager Roberto Martinez ultimatum over Liverpool

WIGAN chairman Dave Whelan has told Roberto Martinez he will expect him to honour his contract if he has not reached an agreement with Liverpool before Thursday.

Martinez will fly back from a family holiday on Barbados on Tuesday and Whelan said he was due to have a phone conversation with Liverpool’s owners Fenway Sports Group on his return.

Whelan claimed last week that Martinez had been formally offered the opportunity to succeed Kenny Dalglish at Anfield, although that appears to have been premature.

The 70 year-old will now ask both parties to make a final decision in the next 48 hours.

“Roberto is coming back from Barbados on Tuesday,” said Whelan. “He’s told me is speaking to Liverpool on the telephone when he gets back and I need a decision.

“I’ve told him I will expect him to honour his contract here if a decision has not been made by Thursday as we’ve got to prepare for next season.”

Martinez met the Liverpool hierarchy in Miami on Thursday, although they do not appear to have finalised their preference, with Swansea City manager Brendan Rodgers and Jürgen Klopp, of Borussia Dortmund, also still thought to be under consideration.

Rodgers declined an invitation to hold informal talks earlier this month and Swansea issued a statement yesterday to say they had not been officially informed of Liverpool’s fresh interest in their manager.

Liverpool remain determined to recruit a sporting director, with Louis van Gaal the front-runner for the position.

However, former Spain and Real Madrid defender Fernando Hierro could emerge as a candidate following his resignation as Malaga’s director of football on Monday.

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