Whelan said: "Whenever I speak with Sir Alex Ferguson - who I regard as the master - he always says two of the best young bosses around are Steve Bruce and Mark Hughes.
"They both played under Fergie at Old Trafford, they always give 100 per cent and if your head is screwed on like theirs is, you can't help but learn from the great man.'
"Steve is similar to ( former manager) Paul Jewell in many ways. He's determined, hard working and he can bring out the best in players. We want him at Wigan. We had a very impressive list of candidates for the job and I thank all those who applied.
"But we are going for Steve because we feel he has so much to offer. Wigan must again become the club they were when we came into the Premier League and Steve has the ability, experience and determination to take the club forward again. He wants a new challenge, he wants to come to Wigan and we can provide him with that."