Wigan Athletic have agreed to let Liverpool speak to manager Roberto Martinez over the vacant manager’s position at Anfield.
Liverpool’s owners Fenway Sports Group sacked Kenny Dalglish yesterday, allowing the floodgates of speculation over candidates for the new manager to open.
The Wigan boss has been heavily linked with the Reds over the last week, with many suggesting FSG have been impressed in the way he has got the Latics playing and his shrewd nose in the transfer market.
Martinez showed his loyalty last year when he turned down an offer to join Aston Villa to stay at Wigan, who narrowly avoided relegation this season. 38-year-old Martinez, former manager of Swansea City, is the bookies favourite.
Wigan chairman Dave Whelan confirmed to ESPN, “I was actually with Roberto when our chief executive called to tell him that Liverpool have made their approach. That happened about half an hour ago, and I told Roberto that he had my permission to speak with Liverpool.”
“I knew that the day would come when this happened, so it wasn’t unexpected, he is a good manager so I am not surprised a club like Liverpool want him.
“You have got to regard Liverpool as a big club, so I told Roberto that I wouldn’t stand in his way, it was up to him to decide, and I shall await his decision, it is up to him and Liverpool now.
“I can imagine he will want to manage such a big club but I would willingly keep him if I could.
“He only signed a new three year contract three months ago, so yes you are right I would be due compensaton, but I would rather have Roberto than the compensation.”
The Reds are also thought to have spoken to former Chelsea boss Andre Villas-Boas, but it seems unlikely the Portuguese 24-year-old will be Reds boss next season.
Talks will open with Martinez next week in Boston. Odds on the next Liverpool manager are here.