x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Wigan can talk to old amigo Martinez

Wigan are given permission to speak to Roberto Martinez about their managerial vacancy after a compensation deal was agreed with Swansea.

Wigan have been given permission to speak to Roberto Martinez about their managerial vacancy after a compensation deal was agreed with Swansea. The Latics have turned to the Swans boss, who was also a reported target of Celtic, after the previous incumbent Steve Bruce was yesterday confirmed as the new manager of Sunderland.

Martinez spent six years as a player at the Lancashire club until 2001. He has seen his stock soar since guiding Swansea to the verge of the play-offs in the English Championship, the league below the Premier League, just 12 months after winning the title of the division below. A statement from the Latics read: "Wigan can announce that it has been given permission by Swansea to speak to their manager Roberto Martinez about the vacant manager's position. "A compensation deal has also been agreed and now Wigan chief executive Brenda Spencer will meet with Roberto as soon as possible to try to agree a deal to bring him to the club.

"As chairman Dave Whelan stated yesterday, Roberto is our number one choice and we are delighted to have permission to speak with him." Swansea have also confirmed the talks will go ahead after Whelan met their valuation. The club said in a statement: "Swansea City can confirm that they have reluctantly given Wigan Athletic permission to speak to Roberto Martinez about the vacant manager's position at the JJB Stadium. "Permission was granted when Wigan's offer of compensation reached the appropriate level set by Swansea City, and was only given when taking into account Roberto's own wishes." Wigan owner Whelan has made no secret of his admiration for the work done by Martinez at Liberty Stadium. The Spaniard, 35, held talks with the Swansea chairman Huw Jenkins last night when he was expected to voice his preference for the JJB Stadium over Parkhead.

Celtic made an approach for Martinez last week, but Whelan told Sky Sports News he was hopeful that an emotional attachment would take him back to the north-west. "He was one of my 'Three Amigos' when I brought three lads in 10-12 years ago (the others were Jesus Seba and Isidro Diaz) and they revolutionised the football at Wigan." * PA Sport