Latics to open Martinez talks

The Spaniard, who has been at the DW Stadium for two years, helped

Latics remain in the Premier League with victory over Stoke on

Survival Sunday. His efforts for the North-West outfit and

previously at Swansea have attracted the interest of rival clubs

and Wigan are now eager to secure his long-term future. Villa

parted company with Gerard Houllier on Wednesday evening and Mark

Hughes left Fulham on Thursday, with Martinez subsequently

mentioned as a possible contender for both posts. But chief

executive Jonathan Jackson is keen to retain the services of the

former Latics player, and revealed talks involving Martinez and

chairman Dave Whelan will take place in the near future. “Clearly

Roberto will be linked with other jobs because of how well he’s

done here, but we all want him to stay,” Jackson told the Wigan

Evening Post. “Roberto has done fantastically well for this

football club and we’d love him to remain here for many years.

“We’ve all been fully focused on what was going on at the end of

the season, and ensuring we remained in the Premier League. “Now we

can look forward, and that (Martinez’s future) will be one of the

main topics on our agenda. It will be something we’ll be looking at

over the next month or so.” Jackson accepts that there may be a

time when Martinez looks to pastures new in the future, but feels

that the respected young tactician is still in the middle of his

project with Wigan. Jackson added: “Personally I think Roberto will

end up as manager of a very top club in the future. If and when

that happens we’ll have to prepare for that. “But it’s been

well-documented that he’s got a five-year plan at this club, which

involves overhauling the youth development side of things as well

as establishing Wigan as a Premier League side that not only

survives every year but pushes on towards the top 10. “We’re in the

middle of that process now and I think he’s enjoying the

challenge.”