Whelan: Martinez has had lots of offers

Wigan Athletic manager Roberto Martinez
Wigan Athletic manager Roberto Martinez

WIGAN Athletic chairman Dave Whelan will try to persuade Roberto Martinez to stay and take the club back into the Barclays Premier League at the first attempt next season but admits the Spaniard has been made numerous offers from other clubs.

Whelan will have a meeting with Martinez after the Latics’ final match of the season at home to Aston Villa on Sunday to hammer out their plans for next season after the FA Cup winners were condemned to relegation by defeat at Arsenal.

The Wigan chairman has promised to boost the size of the squad to cope with the demands of European football, and hopes Martinez will remain at the club.

Everton are in the market for a new manager after David Moyes’ move to Manchester United but Whelan said there were other clubs after Martinez.

Whelan said: “We’ll have a meeting after the final match and he’s so honest he will tell me then whether he is staying or going.

“He has had numerous offers. There’s clubs bigger than Everton looking at Roberto every season because he’s a quality manager.

“We have a partnership, we have complete trust in each other, that’s how we operate. Of course we would love him to stay but what he decides I will accept.

“The first season (after relegation) is the one to get back up - the parachute payment is the biggest and we should have the same core of players.”

Whelan estimates that Wigan will have to play an extra 12 to 15 matches next season - 46 rather than 38 in the league, plus the demands of the Europa League.

He added: “We are going to have to have more players - take into account the Community Shield against Manchester United and we could end up playing 60 games. We will need a bigger squad.”

Whelan also admitted that it would be impossible to choose between winning the FA Cup and staying in the Premier League.

“The FA Cup is monumental and historic but to be in the Premier League is so important commercially and financially,” he said.

“What made the difference this season is that Lady Luck deserted us. We had the most horrendous luck with injuries - sometimes eight first-choice players out with injury. We accept that overall we were not quite good enough but we also feel hard-done-by.”

Whelan admitted that he felt the club were doomed to the drop following last week’s 3-2 home defeat to Swansea - when they had twice been in front.

Victory at Wembley inspired hope of another league escape, but it was not to be as Wigan became the first club to win the FA Cup and go down in the same season.

“The the writing was on the wall when we lost to Swansea at home,” he added.

“It has been a fantastic season and I do think Wigan Athletic have made an awful lot of friends worldwide and not just in the Premier League because of the way we play and our attitude.”