Martinez staying at Wigan after snubbing Villa

Wigan Athletic manager Roberto Martinez has turned down the chance of taking over at Aston Villa, it was confirmed on Friday.

Updated: June 10, 2011 18:39 IST
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London: Wigan Athletic manager Roberto Martinez has turned down the chance of taking over at Aston Villa, it was confirmed on Friday.

An Aston Villa statement said Martinez, 37, had featured prominently on the club's shortlist of candidates to replace Gerard Houllier but had chosen instead to see out his contract with Wigan.

"Roberto met with his chairman earlier this week and he made the decision to honour his commitment to Wigan," the Villa statement said.

Martinez is reported to have been offered a double-your-money contract to move to Villa, but instead opted to repay the faith shown in him by Latics owner Dave Whelan, who has signed him both as a player and manager.

"Over the last two years the chairman has been very supportive to me and loyal, and now I feel I need to be loyal and supportive back to him," Martinez said.

"I haven't finished my job at Wigan Athletic - there is much work still to be done.

"I don't know how long that will take but such is the belief that I have always had that I would only ever decide to move once the club is ready for a new manager."

Wigan owner Whelan expressed delight after Martinez's decision to stay.

"Roberto's staying and that's the great news," Whelan told Sky Sports on Friday. "He's signing a new three-year contract. But to be honest, money is not what this has been about. I'm over the moon."

Villa had requested and been granted permission to approach Martinez after he emerged as the front-runner to take over at Villa Park ahead of former England boss Steve McClaren and ex-Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez.

"The club would like to thank Wigan Athletic Football Club and its chairman, Dave Whelan, for their professionalism in dealing with our request to speak to Roberto Martinez," Villa said.

"Roberto's qualities as a young and aspirational manager ensured him of a position high on our shortlist of potential new managers."

"We remain focused and are working hard to secure the best candidate for Aston Villa who will complement the club's commitment to be true to our heritage, competitiveness and passionate fanbase, and will have the new manager in place to prepare the players for the pre-season programme and next season's campaign."

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