ROBERTO Martinez insists Franco di Santo remains fully focused on starring for Wigan Athletic despite his ongoing contract situation.
The former Chelsea man has been in sparkling form this term, and recently made his debut for Argentina in their friendly against Saudi Arabia.
Di Santo’s contract is up at the end of the campaign, with Latics desperate to secure his long-term future at the DW.
In the meantime, though, Martinez says the 23-year-old will not allow himself to be sidetracked by off-field events.
“His contract is not an issue,” Martinez said. “We have been talking for a while now and, remember the contract situation is just to give consistency to his work.
“All our focus is on fulfilling Franco’s potential from a footballing point of view. He’s come a long, long way, but he still has a long way to go.
“I believe his potential is so, so huge. He can be as good as he wants to be.
“But obviously he needs to be in the right environment to reach that full potential. And once he reaches that, he will be ready for anything.
“Remember he’s still a very young man. The level he showed at the end of last season and this season shows you that he has signs of getting there very quickly.
“We all share the same feeling. We want to work together for a longer period and it’s just a matter of making it happen. Hopefully we will do that very soon.”
As things stand, Di Santo would be free to negotiate with other clubs from January 1 ahead of a Bosman free transfer in the summer.
But Martinez remains confident there will be a successful resolution – with last season’s top scorer staying put.
The Wigan boss added: “He knows he can trust the club in many ways, because all we have done during his time here is show all we care about is his development. There’s a real trust.
“He has shown he can hold the No.9 shirt at Wigan Athletic and for Argentina, and that is as big a compliment as you can give in world football.”