Wednesday 13 December 2017

Roberto Martinez talks with Liverpool have started, says Wigan chairman

WIGAN chairman Dave Whelan claims manager Roberto Martinez has already started discussions with Liverpool's owners.

The Spaniard was on holiday in the Caribbean but Whelan said he has travelled to Miami to open discussions with Fenway Sports Group over the vacancy at Anfield following Kenny Dalglish's sacking last week.

"I got a phone call this morning and Roberto was on his way to America, he's flying down to Miami and is meeting Liverpool now, as we speak," Whelan told ESPN.

"I didn't ask him what he has decided to do but I told him I wanted it sorted out sooner rather than later.

"If it's yes to Liverpool I will accept it and get on with life. But if it's no I'll be delighted.

"I would love him to stay, I hope he will stay but I told him I need an answer in the next seven days."

FSG were hoping by the start of next week to have identified a realistic shortlist of up to five candidates.

Martinez is due back in England on Tuesday so it may be principal owner John Henry and chairman Tom Werner have brought forward their meeting to expedite matters for the 38-year-old's convenience.

Reports have suggested former Porto and Chelsea boss Andre Villas-Boas has slipped out of the reckoning while there are claims in Holland Louis van Gaal would prefer to be manager rather than technical director in the new set-up.

Forward Dirk Kuyt believes his compatriot has the ideal experience to be a success at Anfield.

"It is not usual for players to speak about candidates but he is a Dutchman, has a great track record and has the experience that the club could put to good use," the 31-year-old is reported as saying by Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf.

"At the moment, Liverpool have no coach or technical director.

"Each club benefits from structure. You look at the Dutch national team and see that consistency and clarity are important."

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