Wigan chairman Whelan resigning himself to losing Martinez to Liverpool

Wigan Athletic chairman Dave Whelan is resigning himself to losing Roberto Martinez to Liverpool.

Whelan granted Liverpool permission yesterday to speak with his manager.

Whelan has no doubts about the achievements of Martinez, who rejected an approach for Aston Villa last summer, in his three seasons at the DW.

But he knows if FSG do decide he is the man to take the club forward he will be powerless to stop the Spaniard leaving.

"I would love to keep Roberto. He's brought youngsters on and is an absolutely superb manager," he said.

"Unfortunately there are two or three clubs looking for managers and I think Roberto is on the list of every one of them.

"Managers change clubs and sometimes you don't know what's happening and you have got to accept it and get on with the job.

"I think he's going there with an open mind."

Whelan added on ESPN: "I knew that the day would come when this happened, so it wasn't unexpected.

"He is a good manager so I am not surprised a club like Liverpool want him.

"It is up to him and Liverpool now. I can imagine he will want to manage such a big club but I would willingly keep him if I could.

"He only signed a new three-year contract three months ago so I would be due compensation - but I would rather have Roberto than the compensation."

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