ROBERTO Martinez believes Chelsea have got a bargain – after they met Latics’ £9m asking price for Victor Moses.
The European Champions were last night given the green light to talk to the 21-year-old after a formal offer was accepted.
Chelsea have been heavily linked with the winger over the summer and have had FOUR previous bids knocked back as they failed to meet Wigan’s valuation, believed to be £9m.
After Latics refused to back down, cashed-up Chelsea last night waded in with an improved offer and Moses – who played against the London club in a 2-0 defeat in last Sunday’s Premier League opener – was expected to complete his move to Stamford Bridge today.
Latics confirmed the news in a statement, insisting their valuation had been met and the player was free to discuss terms.
Speaking earlier, Martinez admitted he thought the asking price was low in the modern climate – but understood that club owner Whelan didn’t want to stand in his way.
“My chairman was very fair from the beginning,” he said. “He put a valuation on the player and I don’t agree with that valuation; if you look to the market and how the other players have been valued, I think Victor’s price is small.
“But that’s the way the chairman wants to do it, I think that’s fair for the player.”
The Nigeria international’s displays toward the end of last season were key in keeping Wigan in the Barclays Premier League and he put in another impressive performance against his likely new employers on Sunday.
With the transfer deadline looming, Martinez yesterday cast doubts over the strength of Chelsea’s interest – just hours before the dramatic development.
“We all know when there is a top club who wants a player, they just come in and match the valuation and they take the player,” he said in a press conference to preview tomorrow’s clash at Southampton.
“That’s never been the case (with Moses). So for me and for the players, there were real question marks whether that interest was real at any point.”
Chelsea’s offer answered those questions emphatically.
Latics fans have grown accustomed to losing their marquee players during their tenure in the Premier League – to mixed success.
Ex-players Leighton Baines (Everton) and Antonio Valencia (Manchester United) have arguably been the stand-out performers since their departures from the DW, and Martinez has no doubts Moses has the ability to follow their path and go on to establish himself in the competition.
“Believe me, Victor will end up fighting to win leagues and to try to win the Champions League, I guarantee you that,” he said early yesterday.
“His performance on Sunday (in a 2-0 defeat against Chelsea) shows what he is as a player.
“He loves the game. At 21 he’s been able to cope with any sort of pressure.
“When we signed him from Crystal Palace with a big transfer fee from our point of view, he handled that side really easily just because he loves the game and once he’s on the pitch, all he wants to do is play football – and that will never change.”
Moses joined Wigan from Crystal Palace on a three-and-a-half-year deal midway through the 2009-10 season for a reported fee of £2.5m.
Latics midfielder James McArthur last night tweeted: “Looks like Victor is away to Chelsea, he will be missed but great opportunity for him and wish him the best of luck.”
Chelsea face Newcastle tomorrow, kick-off 5.30pm