Martinez ready to quit Wigan
Published 14:28 11/04/12 By Alan Nixon
Roberto Martinez is ready to quit Wigan Athletic at the end of the season - and open the door to a move to a rival Premier League club.
The young Spaniard's contract is up in the summer despite chairman Dave Whelan claiming he had signed a new three-year deal when he snubbed Aston Villa at the start of the season.
Martinez did not put pen to paper, because of disagreements with Whelan over similar deals being given to the rest of his backroom team.
The Latics chief also saw Charles N'Zogbia being sold and little money being spent by owner Whelan, whose own desire to sell up casts a doubt over the one-time dream team.
And now the highly-rated coach could be off whether Wigan beat the drop again or not. Pals of the young boss say he is 'open' to staying in England or taking a job in his homeland.
Martinez shocked football when he said no to Villa last summer, paving the way for Alex McLeish's controversial apointment. That post may yet come back up.
The Wigan boss could also be a target for former club Swansea who face a fight to keep Brendan Rodgers. He left with a lot of bad feelings between him and the Welsh outfit but may be welcomed back.
There will be other vacancies in a busy summer and Martinez could also be chased in Spain by Europa League giant killers Athletic Bilbao who could lose Marcelo Bielsa.
Martinez was on Bilbao's short list last summer but pulled out of the race because the Basques wanted to interview him rather than offer him the job.
Wigan chairman Dave Whelan has vowed to stick with manager Roberto Martinez "for as long as I can".
Martinez is coming towards the end of his third season with the Latics and once again is embroiled in the thick of a Barclays Premier League relegation battle.
It might not have been exactly what the popular Spaniard had in mind when he turned down the opportunity to manage Aston Villa last summer, and reports have emerged suggesting he could leave the DW Stadium by mutual consent in the summer.
However, club sources are distancing themselves from such talk and, speaking to Sky Sports News ahead of tonight's Premier League encounter with Manchester United, Whelan heaped praise on the man he brought back to Wigan from Swansea after a previous stint with the club.
"I will stick with Roberto Martinez for as long as I can," he said. "I have said Roberto will go to one of the big clubs in Europe or the UK.
"He is a very high quality manager. He is a gentleman. He is 100% honest and I have great admiration for him."