Liverpool have been warned they will face a compensation bill of at least £3m if they appoint Roberto Martinez as Kenny Dalglish's successor after holding formal talks with the Wigan manager last night.
Martinez, who is understood to have spoken to Liverpool briefly last Sunday, interrupted a family holiday in the Caribbean to fly to Miami for discussions with the club's American owners, Fenway Sports Group, over the managerial vacancy at Anfield.
While FSG's face-to-face talks with Martinez are significant in that they represent the first meeting between the Spaniard and the Americans, it is understood that several other candidates -- including Swansea manager Brendan Rodgers and former Ajax coach Louis van Gaal -- are still to be interviewed and that an appointment as manager is not imminent.
But with Wigan chairman Dave Whelan voicing concerns over the possible distraction caused by Liverpool's slow-moving attempts to replace the sacked Dalglish, he has made it clear to FSG that he expects full compensation for Martinez should he emerge as the favoured candidate.
Whelan said Martinez signed an extension to his contract, "so Liverpool would have to buy out his contract.
"You are into £2m to £3m minimum.
"Whatever the contract is worth I am sure Liverpool would honour that and buy it out." (© Daily Telegraph, London)