WIGAN assistant manager Graeme Jones has emerged as the surprise favourite to replace Liverpool-bound Brendan Rodgers at Swansea after being granted permission to talk to the south Wales club.
Swansea and Liverpool yesterday agreed a compensation package for Rodgers and backroom staff members Colin Pascoe, Chris Davies and Glen Driscoll, and the Northern Irishman was set to be unveiled at Anfield today.
And Jones, who worked with Roberto Martinez at the Liberty Stadium between 2007 and 2009, before following the Spaniard to Wigan, appears to be in pole position to succeed him after being granted permission to hold talks with the Swans.
Wigan chairman Dave Whelan said: "I had half a dozen phone calls saying Swansea were wanting permission to talk to Graeme and I said I really don't know because our chief executive (Jonathan Jackson) was in a Premier League meeting.
"But he rang me and said that was the case and we gave them permission immediately.
"Roberto doesn't believe in holding people back. It's a free country but if he goes we'll miss him immensely.
"He's ambitious, has played for us and is a football man through and through. He's worked with Roberto for a few years but I think he's up for the challenge and is a very good lad.
"Roberto would like him to stay -- they've been a great partnership for quite a while and the first thing Roberto said was he'd miss him immensely."