The Wigan supremo admits that the vacancy at the Midlands club is an attractive proposition but he believes his Spanish manager would only have been lured to Anfield
By Rob Stewart
Whelan has freely admitted that the club would not stand in the way of Martinez if he wished to move on and had previously allowed his manager to speak to Aston Villa before they appointed Alex McLeish.
After the Spaniard walked away from talks with Liverpool over their director of football strategy, however, Whelan suggests that his manager would not be interested in a move to Villa Park.
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“I have not really spoken to him much about Villa,” he told Goal.com.
“Villa came for him very strongly last year and I managed to persuade him to stay put and Villa were disappointed then.
“Now I really don’t know how keen they have been on him this year because I have not really spoken very much to him about Villa.
“It has all been Liverpool. Villa is a big club with a great support and a fabulous stadium. It is a wonderful place to play football. I just think I persuaded him to stay at Wigan rather than go to Villa.”
Whelan accepts that young and promising managers, such as Martinez, will always be an attractive target for the bigger clubs but insists that he is confident the former Swansea boss will stay put.
“When the big clubs change managers there is always a scramble and you have to expect that,” he added. “The smaller clubs are always in line to lose their manager.
“It is not distressing but it is a little bit upsetting. Swansea will feel the same now they are losing their manager. It is not nice. You have to start re-building your club again and appoint another manager.
“It is very upsetting in all kinds of ways but it is football and we have to accept it. I have played football in every division and it is never easy, especially when you have a top-quality young manager who is going to leave you in the future and they are going to go to bigger clubs. That is inevitable.
“Everything happens very quickly at the end of a football season. It is lucky that we have been able to keep hold of Roberto for hopefully another two or three years.”
Martinez has been at Wigan for three seasons and Whelan claims the club are trying to match the Spaniard's ambitions and improve the current facilities available to the 38-year-old.
“Roberto always wants to improve the training facilities and the youth facilities. He always wants to fight to improve them,” he continued.
“He has asked if we can improve them and the answer is ‘yes’ we will try to improve them as much as we can because we want young lads coming through.
“He is mad-keen to develop our own youth policy and he is on with that now. Roberto never ceases to do things in football. He never goes quiet. He never goes to sleep. He works all day solid. He is a very unusual guy. He is a workaholic and a pleasure to work with.”