Martinez rejects Villa to stay at Wigan

AP, Friday 10 Jun 2011

Roberto Martinez will remain as manager of Wigan after rejecting an opportunity to hold talks with English Premier League rival Aston Villa

Roberto Martinez
Wigan coach Roberto Martínez

Villa targeted the 37-year-old Spaniard as a replacement for Gerard Houllier, who stepped down for health reasons this month, but said on Friday that Martinez "has made the decision to honor his commitment to Wigan." Wigan chairman Dave Whelan granted Martinez permission to speak to Villa, while at the same time offering a pay rise and a contract extension in a bid to keep him at DW Stadium.

Martinez has a year left on his contract with Wigan, which he has kept in the Premier League despite relegation battles in his two seasons in charge, but is set to sign a new deal.

"Today or tomorrow, he will be signing a new three-year deal," Whelan said. "Roberto's staying, that's great news." Villa said the club didn't even get the chance to meet Martinez and discuss the vacant managerial role.

Houllier joined Villa in September after leaving his role as technical director for the French Football Federation but missed the final month of last season because of heart problems.

Villa has also been widely linked with moves for former Liverpool and Inter Milan coach Rafa Benitez and ex-England manager Steve McClaren.

"We will have the new manager in place to prepare the players for the preseason program and next season's campaign," the Villa statement read.

Villa finished last season in ninth place in the Premier League.

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