The 76-year-old admits he's losing his battle to keep his coveted manager but thinks he could manage a bigger club than the Toffees
Goal.com exclusively revealed on Wednesday that the 39-year-old Spaniard is Everton's first-choice target to replace David Moyes, who is set to succeed Sir Alex Ferguson at Manchester United.
And with the interest in the Toffees, the 76-year-old is resigned to losing his young manager to a bigger club in the future but doesn't neccessarily hold Everton in that regard.
"It's a battle that I will lose and Wigan will lose [at some point], I've no question on that. It's [a case of] would Roberto choose to go to Everton or would he wait for one of the really big clubs?" Whelan told BBC Radio 5 Live.
"I'm not degrading Everton in any way, shape or form - they're a great club with great supporters - but is Everton regarded as one of the top European clubs? Well, unfortunately they're not."
Martinez could find the lure of challenging for European spots one which is too hard to turn down having been in relegation battles since his time in charge at the DW Stadium.
The former Swansea boss has pulled off remarkable escapes with the Lancashire club who are currently obtaining the final relegation place in the Premier League with only two games remaining.