Whelan tells Everton to pay £2m for Martinez

WIGAN chairman Dave Whelan has told Everton they must stump up £2m in compensation to lure manager Roberto Martinez away from the DW Stadium.

Whelan confirmed yesterday that Martinez has been granted permission to speak to another club after requesting to leave the FA Cup winners, though an official statement clarified that the Spaniard has not yet left his current post. The 39-year-old is still under contract with the relegated Latics and will not be free to succeed Manchester United-bound David Moyes at Everton, until a financial settlement has been agreed.

“We will let him go but he’s on a 12-month rolling contract, so if he moves someone will have to buy him out of his final year,” said Whelan, who appointed Martinez as manager in 2009.

“Roberto wants to move on and I have got to accept it. Everton rang me and I said they have permission to talk to him. I would never stop Roberto talking to football clubs.

“We are still friends, we will always be good friends and he will always be a friend of Wigan Athletic.”

Manchester United’s first team coach Rene Meulensteen, 49, is the early favourite to take the Wigan job, should Martinez complete his move to Goodison Park.

The Dutchman has previous managerial experience with Brondby of Denmark and Qatari clubs Al-Ittihad and Al-Sadd.

Current Wigan assistant manager Graeme Jones and former Bolton boss Owen Coyle are also among the front-runners.