herald

Tuesday 22 January 2019

Martinez to make call on Villa job

ROBERTO MARTINEZ was set to make the toughest decision of his managerial career this evening when he chose whether to leave Wigan to take the vacant manager’s job at Aston Villa.

Martinez spoke with Villa chairman Randy Lerner yesterday after the American made it clear that the Spaniard is free to fill the position left by Gerard Houllier if he wants to.

Wigan chairman Dave Whelan was happy to grant Martinez permission to speak to the Midlanders although he was confident that he would hold on to the 37-year-old, who spent six years with the Latics as a player and has been manager for the past two seasons.

DECISION

Martinez, who will be making a big step up if he takes the Villa job, was due to inform Whelan of his decision when the two met this evening.

“It will be resolved, that is a definite because I’m meeting him and Roberto doesn’t mess about – he’s straight down the line, he’s honest, then it will be: ‘I am staying at Wigan’ or ‘I’m going to talk to Villa’,” Whelan said.

Martinez has managed to keep Wigan in the Premier League during his two seasons in charge, although the Lancashire club came agonisingly close to the drop this year.

Whelan has stood by the man he brought to England as a player in 1995 despite the club’s flirtation with relegation and is confident that Martinez can go on to become a manager of one of Europe’s biggest clubs.

CONFIDENT

Whelan says he will not stand in Martinez’s way should he decide to leave, but is confident that his manager will stay. “My gut feeling is he will stay at Wigan,” Whelan said.

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