Wigan chairman Dave Whelan has given Everton permission to speak to manager Roberto Martinez after the Spaniard asked to leave the club.
At a meeting on Tuesday afternoon Martinez told Whelan he was ending his four-year association with the Latics after they dropped out of the Premier League despite winning the FA Cup.
Whelan will not stand in the way of his manager, who is on a one-year rolling contract, and will demand compensation from whichever club he joins.
Everton, looking to replace David Moyes who has gone to Manchester United, appear to be in pole position after requesting permission to speak to Martinez over the weekend.
"Roberto wants to move on," Whelan told Press Association Sport.
"We will let him go but he's on a 12-month rolling contract so if he moves someone will have to buy him out of his final year.
"Everton rang me and I said they have permission to talk to him."