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Martinez to decide future

Wigan chairman Dave Whelan says a decision on Roberto Martinez’s future will be made on Thursday.

Speculation has raged over the future of Martinez – who led Wigan to an unlikely FA Cup Final triumph against Manchester City this season – after the DW Stadium outfit were relegated from the Premier League.

Whelan revealed that Martinez would tell Wigan if he planned to stay on Thursday and also claimed the Spaniard was the best manager in Europe.

“I believe he is in the top six managers in the world and I believe he will go even higher than that,” Whelan told TalkSPORT.

“Roberto is a very special manager. In my eyes he is number one in Europe but, OK, I’m a little biased.

“I had a great meeting with Roberto Martinez today. Roberto is an upfront person. We had an honest and open meeting. He told me everything he thought and he said, ‘can I have another 24 hours’.

“He wants to talk to his wife, which I accept completely and he just wants to give it a little bit more thought. Tomorrow (Thursday) it’s D-Day.”

Whelan insisted he will support Martinez regardless of his decision, and added that he believes he will stay at the club.

He also believes the Spaniard would enhance his reputation if he could help Wigan regain their place in the Premier League next season, in a campaign that will also see them play in the UEFA Europa League.

“Whatever Roberto does I will back him in it,” he said.

“I want him to stay. I really, really want him to stay but, should he decide to leave he has another 12 months left on his contract but I will release him for a certain amount of compensation.

“I’ve put on the table that I would like to keep him. I’ve said I do believe he’ll go to a top club but I just think he needs another one to two years working at Wigan, because he’s doing such a super job. His reputation just grows and grows.

“Next year’s challenge is the Championship and that is a massive, massive challenge. If Roberto stays with us and takes us straight back out of the Championship to the Premier League then that’s another step in his (path) to the very top of football.

“Hopefully he wants to stay and we can carry on building Wigan Athletic. My gut feeling is that he will stay but that’s not definite.

“He’s so disappointed about going down to the Championship, which I fully understand. We just had dreadful luck this season with injuries.”

Wed 22 May, 2013
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