Martinez favourite for Villa job

Dave Whelan
Dave Whelan
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DAVE Whelan will meet Roberto Martinez later today – with the manager’s future top of the agenda.

After steering Wigan to another Great Escape, Martinez is the hottest managerial property in the country at the moment.

Having been linked with the vacancy at West Brom last week, he was then tipped by the Sunday papers to replace Kenny Dalglish at Liverpool.

And after Alex McLeish left Aston Villa yesterday, Martinez was immediately installed as the odds-on favourite.

Martinez, of course, famously turned down the chance to take over at Villa last summer.

And Whelan hopes the Spaniard will once again pledge his future to Wigan.

“I’ve always said he will go on to a big, big club – but I do mean a big, big club,” Whelan told the Evening Post.

“He will not be going to a club on the same level or slightly bigger than Wigan Athletic.

“He is too good for that, no question about it.

“He is going right to the top, and when the time comes I will wish him all the best and thank him for everything he has done for Wigan Athletic.

“But hopefully that won’t be for another year or two yet.”

The meeting between manager and chairman has been in the diary for days – and is not the result of recent tabloid speculation.

Topics are set to include player movement – both incoming and outgoing – as well as the upcoming pre-season schedule.

But Whelan will also be keen to gauge his manager’s thoughts on his immediate and long-term future.

“Roberto and myself have always been very, very close,” he added.

“He trusts me implicitly and I trust him implicitly.

“That’s the way I work and that’s the way he works.”