Roberto gets £5million to spend

Dave Whelan
Dave Whelan

ROBERTO Martinez has been given the green light by Dave Whelan to splash the cash in an attempt to preserve Wigan Athletic’s Premier League status.

The Wigan boss is on the verge of making a double swoop on the Championship, after his chairman sanctioned the £5million outlay.

Birmingham winger Jean Beausejour looks like being the first arrival, the Chilean’s representatives having spent much of yesterday in talks with Latics officials thrashing out personal terms.

Martinez has twice failed to bring Beausejour to the DW in the past, but looks set to make it third time lucky for a fee of around £3million.

Contrary to reports, however, it’s not a ‘done-deal’ as the move also hinges on the player being granted a new work permit.

Also poised to arrive at Wigan is Bristol City hot-shot Nicky Maynard, who has been given permission to speak to Latics despite a fee not having yet been agreed.

Maynard, who was the subject of a £6million bid from Leicester last summer, has less than six months remaining on his contract at Ashton Gate.

And that has allowed Latics to make their move for around a third of that valuation, with City anxious to claw back as much of the £2.25million they paid Crewe in 2008 rather than lose him for nothing in the summer.

“Discussions to finalise a fee with the Premier League club are at an advanced stage,” City announced last night. “The club now awaits news of talks between Wigan and the player.”

Maynard trained with the rest of his City team-mates yesterday, but those talks with Wigan could take place later today with the City players having been given the day off.

Martinez refused to comment on individual targets during his local press briefing yesterday, but admitted time was running out ‘to get things done’.

“You’re not going to stop rumours at this time of the year – it’s the nature of the beast,” he said.

“But now is the time to get things done, and we need to take advantage of whatever opportunities may present themselves to us.

“One or two new faces would be perfect at this moment in time, and that’s what our work off the field is geared towards – to try to make that happen.”

Meanwhile, Hugo Rodallega has confirmed he will remain with Latics until the end of the season before leaving on a free transfer.

“I can already say these are my last three months with Wigan,” Rodallega told Caracol Radio.