Martinez set for Everton switch after asking to leave Wigan
Spaniard given permission to talk to Toffees as Everton fans poke fun at Liverpool on Twitter
ROBERTO MARTINEZ looks set to become the new Everton manager after telling Wigan that he wanted to leave the club on the day that another of the leading candidates for the role, Phil Neville, was ruled out of the running as he joined David Moyes's staff at Manchester United.
Martinez won the FA Cup with Wigan last season, but the Latics were also relegated from the Premier League, and Wigan chairman Dave Whelan has now accepted the Spaniard's resignation. Whelan also revealed that he was contacted by Everton last week, who wanted permission to talk to Martinez about the vacancy at Goodison Park.
"He feels he's not the man to lead us back into the Premier League. I've got to accept what he feels," said Whelan. "He [Martinez] has 12 months left on his contract, so whoever comes in for him must pay the remainder of his contract."
According to the Daily Telegraph, Martinez is the obvious candidate to take over from Moyes at Everton. The FA Cup win over Manchester City "cemented the view he is destined for greater heights," says the paper.
His brand of passing football and tactical acumen make him the "ideal fit" for an Everton team "hoping to build on their solid foundations to evolve into a slightly more attractive side capable of breaking into the top four," adds the paper.
But it is not a done deal, says The Times. Martinez "has a reputation for acting on principle and turned down the opportunity to take over at Aston Villa two years ago because he did not feel the job was right for him at that time".
He would also inherit a better financial situation at Goodison Park than Moyes enjoyed during his reign. Increased TV revenues mean that the Toffees will not be under the same constraints as before.
The possible move sparked a lively debate on Twitter. Last year Martinez was heavily linked with the Liverpool manager's job and claimed he turned it down before Brendan Rodgers took over at Anfield. News that the new Everton manager may have snubbed the Toffees' bitter local rivals delighted many Blues fans, though Liverpool fans insisted that Martinez was joining an inferior team to theirs.