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Wigan confident that Martinez will rebuff Villa's advances
Latics chairman Dave Whelan has granted the Midlands club permission to approach Martinez.

WIGAN CHAIRMAN DAVE WHELAN is confident that Roberto Martinez is the man to lead the Latics’ Premier League revival, despite giving Aston Villa permission to speak to the Spaniard.

Fresh from steering Wigan to 16th position and another season of top-flight football, Martinez has been heavily linked with the managerial post left vacant by Gerard Houllier’s departure from Villa Park last week.

Steve McClaren, Rafael Benitez and Mark Hughes have all been ruled out  in recent days, leaving Martinez as the front-runner for the job.

Whelan confirmed the Midlands club’s interest yesterday, saying that Villa had “acted above board and in a totally professional manner” in requesting that they be allowed to speak to his manager.

But, with a contract extension at the DW Stadium on the table, the Wigan chairman is confident that Martinez will politely decline whatever offer comes his way.

“They wrote to me asking for permission to speak to Roberto,” Whelan told the Daily Telegraph yesterday. “He was on holiday at the time and I granted Villa permission.”

“He arrived back yesterday [Tuesday] and I presume he has spoken to Villa. I have made it clear to him I will be extending his contract.

I have never let him down on anything and he has never let me down. I know I can never say never in football, but I would be very surprised if he is Aston Villa’s new manager.

Read more of Jason Burt’s article in the Daily Telegraph >

Read: Hou’s next for the Villa Park hotseat? >