Writer: Barry Worthington
Date:Wednesday June 3 2009
Wigan Athletic have acted quickly to appoint Sunderland bound Steve Bruces successor with quite a few media sources reporting that a fee has been agreed between the Latics and Swansea City for the services of up and coming boss Roberto Martinez.
It is believed that Latics supremo Dave Whelan sounded out the possibility of Stuart Pearce becoming the man at the helm at the Latics but as soon as Pearce made it clear that he was not interested in club management Whelan moved quickly to secure Martinez despite competition for the Spaniards signature.
Whelan spoke to his Swansea counterpart Huw Jenkins and though he at first baulked at the fee demanded by the Championship club it is believed that a deal has been thrashed out at around the £2 million mark and this will buy Martinez out of the remaining four years of his contract in South Wales.
Earlier this week Scottish club Celtic were making overtures about Martinez and although the young manager said he was flattered Swansea chairman Jenkins refused the Hoops permission to speak to him.
This alerted Whelan that his target was in demand and he has acted quickly to bring Roberto back to the club that got his football career started in the UK in 1994 when he arrived in a blaze of publicity as part of the 'Three Amigos` with Jesus Seba and Isidro Diaz at what was then Division Three Wigan Athletic.
Whelan said yesterday: 'Martinez's success at Swansea is certainly no surprise to me.
'He is a real gentleman and was a quality footballer when he played for Wigan all those years ago.
'I liked the way he conducted himself back then - and now.'
Martinez has spent the last couple of days of his holiday on the Mediterranean island of Ibiza discussing the proposed moves with his family and his decision to join the Latics is more to do with what he sees has the challenge of the English Premier League over the two horse race that is the SPL
It is being reported that Martinez will double his wages to £900,000 per year at the Latics but that is less than the £1.5 million apparently on offer at Celtic.
With Steve Bruce taking Eric Black, Keith Bertschin and Nigel Spink with him to Sunderland, Martinez will need to bring in his own support team and this could see a return to the Latics of old favourite Graeme Jones who is currently the number 2 at Swansea and possibly Martinez` old friend and ex Latics boss Graham Barrow who is now first team coach at Altrincham.
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Date:Wednesday June 3 2009
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