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The Reds' owners are believed to have been given permission to speak to the Spaniard by the Latics as they step up their pursuit for a new manager after sacking Kenny Dalglish

EXCLUSIVE
By Wayne Veysey | Chief Correspondent

Roberto Martinez will open talks with Liverpool at the start of next week about becoming the club's next manager, Goal.com can reveal.

The Wigan Athletic manager was granted permission on Thursday to speak to the Merseyside club about the vacant post, which was later confirmed by Latics chairman Dave Whelan, who told ESPN: "I was actually with Roberto when our chief executive called to tell him that Liverpool have made their approach. I told Roberto that he had my permission to speak with Liverpool. I will never stand in Roberto’s way."

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Goal.com has learned that Martinez is scheduled to fly to Boston next week to begin negotiations with Liverpool's US-based owners Fenway Sports Group (FSG).

Liverpool made their move to formally summon Martinez to the States after sacking Kenny Dalglish on Wednesday.

Martinez could be confirmed as the new Liverpool manager by next week should talks progress smoothly.

Goal.com revealed on Wednesday that FSG made contact with Martinez last week through third parties and the 38-year-old is believed to be keen to make the step up to a European giant.

As revealed by Goal.com in April, Martinez has already decided to leave Wigan this summer and, despite Latics owner Dave Whelan describing Liverpool as a "morgue", the Spaniard is excited about replacing Dalglish.

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FSG believe Martinez fits their criteria of being young, dynamic and capable of introducing a footballing ethos which runs through all levels at the club.

Andre Villas-Boas is considered to be the back-up for Liverpool if an agreement cannot be reached with Martinez.

Inquiries have been made about the availability of the Portuguese, who is no longer in the running for the vacant Roma job despite having two meetings with officials of the Serie A club.

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