Whelan warning of high price for Everton to capture Roberto Martinez
Wigan chairman Dave Whelan will not stand in the way of manager Roberto Martinez as he seeks to leave the club but has told potential suitors Everton it will cost them 2 million in compensation.
The Spaniard is looking to bring an end to a four-year stay at the DW Stadium after telling Whelan he did not feel he could lead the FA Cup winners back to the Premier League. By then Whelan had already given Everton permission to speak with Martinez but the Latics owner has no intention of making any deal easy for their former top-flight rivals.
"Everton rang me and I said they have permission to talk to him. I would never stop Roberto talking to football clubs," he told Press Association Sport. "He's on a three-year contract with 12 months outstanding so I would expect they have got to pay the Â£2million on that which is outstanding."
Whelan added: "We will let him go but if he moves, someone will have to buy him out of his final year. Everton are a nice club and have a great chairman in Bill (Kenwright) and he is an honest man.
"Roberto wants to move on and I have got to accept it. He does not feel he is up to the task of getting us back into the Premier League. Football is football and I understand where he is coming from.
"We are still friends, we will always be good friends and he will always be a friend of Wigan Athletic."
The Latics issued a statement on Tuesday forlornly stating that Martinez remained their manager but an approach had been made for his services.
"Wigan Athletic can confirm that following an approach made by another football club, permission has been given to Roberto Martinez to discuss a vacant managerial position," it read.
"After discussions between Roberto and chairman Dave Whelan, it was reluctantly agreed that Roberto, who remains the manager of Wigan Athletic, would be allowed to speak another club. There is no further comment to be made at this point."
While disappointed, Whelan admits Martinez gave him some of his best moments as club chairman. "It is remarkable what he has done for Wigan," added Whelan. "He kept us in the Premier League up to this season and won the FA Cup - what more could he do?"
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