Deadline set for Martinez to commit to Wigan

Wigan chairman Dave Whelan is preparing to set a deadline for manager Roberto Martinez to decide his future after admitting the club is currently in limbo.

The Spaniard is one of the leading contenders for the vacant Liverpool job and has been given permission to speak to the Reds.

But with the Anfield club's owners Fenway Sports Group continuing their widespread trawl of the best available talent, formal interviews are unlikely to be scheduled until next week.

Martinez is currently on a Caribbean holiday but, on his return next week, Whelan will give him a timescale to make a decision - although with FSG in control of the process it may be one he is not capable of making.

"Roberto will be in Barbados until next Tuesday, and I will then set a seven-day deadline by which time I will expect a decision," said the Latics chairman.

"Until he gets back it's all quiet on the western front.

"I appreciate everyone is in limbo at the moment and there will come a time soon when we'll need an answer one way or the other.

"It is dragging on a bit but I only care about one thing - that is the future of Wigan Athletic. Nothing else matters.

"It's important we sort this out properly, one way or the other, so we can move forward in preparation for the new season."

Martinez's name also continues to be linked with the vacancy at Aston Villa, a club he turned down 12 months ago.

And although he remains one of the front-runners to replace Kenny Dalglish at Anfield, Whelan has not given up hope of hanging on to his prize asset.

"I must stress to our supporters that I am by no means resigned to losing Roberto to Liverpool or any other club," he told the Wigan Evening Post.

"He may go, he may not go. That will be up to Roberto and I will respect his decision either way.

"But it is not a foregone conclusion. Not at all. Hand on heart, I still believe Roberto will be here next season."

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