The Sweeper: Manchester City consider Martinez as Pellegrini assistant

The 39-year-old's future with Wigan Athletic remains unclear, while the coaching shake-up at the Etihad Stadium has been unrelated to Roberto Mancini's dismissal

Roberto Martinez looks to have a host of options this summer if he is to leave Wigan Athletic after guiding the club to FA Cup glory and, less impressively, Premier League relegation.

Everton remain favourites to land the Spaniard, while he has also been attracting offers from abroad, with chairman Dave Whelan claiming that "bigger clubs than Everton" have been interested.

But The Sweeper understands Manchester City are among those casting admiring glances in Martinez's direction, and could offer him a role as Manuel Pellegrini's assistant when the Chilean is appointed, as expected, in the coming weeks.

City admire Martinez's football philosophy and man management, and are no strangers to ambitious recruiting for the assistant manager position, given they approached Brendan Rodgers to work under Roberto Mancini 18 months ago.

- Paul Clennam


The long knives were sharpened at Manchester City earlier this week with an extensive cull of the coaching staff headlined by the exit of Roberto Mancini.
As revealed by Goal on Tuesday, Mancini was swiftly followed through the exit door by first-team coach David Platt and his extended Italian entourage that included Under-21s manager Attilio Lombardo, senior coach Fausto Salsano, fitness coach Ivan Carminati, goalkeeping coach Massimo Battara and defensive coach Angelo Gregucci.

The City sacking programme, which is believed to have been led by sporting director Txiki Begiristain, was broadened to also include staff members further down the coaching chain.

But The Sweeper understands that the departures of four long-term City servants who work with the academy players were unrelated to Mancini's exit.

Youth chief Jim Cassell, Academy coach Paul Power, Under-18s coach Adam Sadler and Pete Lowe, the head of education and coaching, were all axed "for different reasons", according to a City source.

It is expected that Mancini's former No.2 Brian Kidd, who will be in caretaker charge for the club's final match of the season on Sunday, will take on a new role at the Etihad Campus, which is currently under construction.

Kidd is likely to work closely with Patrick Vieira, who, as part of the club’s coaching restructure, was appointed to replace Lombardo as head of the Elite Development Squad on Thursday.

- Wayne Veysey


Mikel Arteta will travel with the Arsenal party that flies to Newcastle ahead of Sunday's pivotal Premier League clash even if he is ruled out through injury.

Arsene Wenger says the midfielder has "minimal" chance of being available for the match after picking up a calf strain in Tuesday's 4-1 win over Wigan.

The Sweeper understands that Arteta's injury is the type that would normally take two weeks to recover from, but the club gave him injections on Friday in a last-ditch bid to patch him up for the final game of the season.

Even if he is declared not fit, the Arsenal lynchpin and vice-captain, who is regarded as one of the more vocal members of the dressing room, plans to travel with the squad to provide moral support for his team-mates.

- Wayne Veysey


Manchester United's official watch maker Hublot are planning a special gift to mark Sir Alex Ferguson's retirement.

They plan to design a one-off commemorative piece to record his time at Old Trafford.

Jokers inside Carrington have already suggested it will tick a little slower to allow for injury time.

- Paul Clennam