Martinez faces tough choice

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Roberto Martinez will make the toughest decision of his managerial career when he chooses whether to leave Wigan to take the vacant manager's job at Aston Villa.

Martinez spoke with Villa chairman Randy Lerner on Thursday after the American made it clear that the Spaniard is free to fill the position left by Gerard Houllier if he wants to. Martinez, who will be making a big step up if he takes the Villa job, will inform Wigan chairman Dave Whelan of his decision when the two meet this afternoon.

"It will be resolved by (Friday) at one thirty, that is a definite because I`m meeting him and Roberto doesn`t mess about, he`s straight down the line, he`s honest, then it will be: 'I am staying at Wigan` or 'I`m going to talk to Villa`," Whelan told talkSPORT.

Martinez has managed to keep Wigan in the Barclays Premier League during his two seasons in charge, although the Lancashire club came agonisingly close to the drop this year, when they stayed up thanks to a final day win at Stoke.

Whelan has stood by the man he brought to England as a player in 1995 despite the club's flirtation with relegation, and is confident that Martinez can go on to become a manager of one of Europe's biggest clubs.


Whelan says he will not stand in Martinez's way should he decide to leave the DW stadium, but is convinced that his manager will stay.

"My gut feeling is he will stay at Wigan, but he will move in 12 or 18 months or two years, and he will go to one of the top European clubs," Whelan added.

"If someone comes in - a big club like Villa - and says 'we are going to double your wages', a lot of people would jump and say 'I am going to do that'.

"Roberto is not that kind of man. He thinks long and hard. He is into football hugely and is enjoying what he is doing at Wigan.

"He has learned so much and taught me so much. Together, we are a great partnership."

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Premier League
Wigan Athletic
Aston Villa

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