Wigan Manager 'close' to Liverpool job



By Alex Byrom
Deputy Football Editor from Anfield


Wigan Athletic Manager Roberto Martinez is close to taking the Liverpool job, as the Anfield club have made him an offer, according to Wigan owner and Chairman Dave Whelan.  

Martinez broke off from his holiday in Barbados for talks; he flew to Boston to meet the Liverpool hierarchy.  

However, the Wigan owner says he wants a decision he now wants his manager's future resolved by next Thursday so he can get started on a search for a new manager – if that is the case.

“He had a meeting on Thursday with the owner of Liverpool in Miami,” Whelan told us. “I think they have made some kind of offer.

“They will speak again on Tuesday. I've said I want a decision by Thursday.”

Yet, Liverpool have declined to comment on Whelan's claims.

Martinez received permission to speak to the Reds last weekafter the Anfield club decided to sack Kenny Dalglish – and was previously handed a deadline to sort his future of 5th June by Whelan, which the Latics owner now appears to have brought forward.

The Spaniard, who met with Liverpool's American owners Fenway Sports Group in the United States, returns from his holiday on Tuesday. 

Whelan revealed: “We are having a meeting on Tuesday when he's going to put everything to me. He's very honest. He arrives back in the morning and we will get together in the afternoon.”

However, Whelan insisted it is not certain that his manager will leave, especially after turning down Aston Villa at the same point last season.

“I think Roberto has put his cards on the table and said ‘If I'm going to Liverpool I want the following’,” said the Wigan owner. Roberto has to run the football club from top to bottom. Without that I don't think he would go.

“I should not be saying how good Roberto is because I want to keep him. There's no question he's the best young manager in Europe.”

Asked about the prospect of Martinez taking over at Liverpool, Reds skipper Steven Gerrard, currently at Euro 2012 with England said: “We'll have to wait and see. It's news for me. I am aware Roberto Martinez has been speaking to the club. If he is the manager he has my [full] support.”

Ajax manager Frank de Boer and Swansea's Brendan Rodgers have turned down the chance to speak to the Anfield club.

Former Chelsea boss Andre Villas-Boas is among a host of other potential candidates that have been linked with the vacancy.

Roberto’s Managerial Career:

WiganJune 2009 – Present: Won 34, Drawn 36, Lost 57

SwanseaFebruary 2007 – June 2009: Won 63, Drawn 37, Lost 26

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