LONDON: Roberto Martinez is favourite to take over from Manchester United-bound David Moyes as new manager of Everton just as soon as the Goodison club has agreed severance terms with Wigan Athletic.
Martinez made history earlier this month when he took his team to victory in the FA Cup but also relegation. This followed his remarkable success in keeping Wigan up among the elite for three years against all the odds.
Everton chairman Bill KenWright asked his Wigan counterpart, Dave Whelan, last week for permission to speak to the Spaniard.
Whelan had always indicated he knew he would lose Martinez one day though last year the Spaniard, who has been linked with various other clubs, turned down Aston Villa who then appointed Paul Lambert.
Stoke City are also believed to have inquired about the prospects of signing Martinez to succeed Tony Pulis who left within three days of the end of the Premier League season.
Martinez arrived in England at Wigan as a little-known midfielder from Zaragoza and rapidly made an impression not only on the pitch but as a television analyst. He made an impressive managerial start with Swansea whose positive style was taken up with success by Brendan Rodgers.
Whelan said: “Roberto wanted permission to move. So I’ve given that. He feels he’s not the man to lead us back into the Premier League. He loves Wigan and the fans. We have to move on now and want applications for the job.”
Martinez has 12 months left on his contract, so Whelan added that “whoever comes in for him must pay the remainder of his contract.
“If he decided to leave us, he is a must for Everton. He plays football from back to front and Everton like to play football from back to front. In my mind, he is tailor-made to manage Everton.”
Martinez suits Everton not only because he is an advocate of positive football but also because he is used to bringing the best of his players and having restricted transfer funds.
Wigan’s success in the FA Cup – they beat Manchester City1-0 in the final – means they will compete in next season’s Europa League.