Roberto Martinez will hold talks next week over his future at Wigan Athletic.
The Spaniard has been in charge of the Lancashire side since 2009, continuing a six-year association which began when he joined them as a player in 1995. Martinez kept Wigan in the Premier League during his first three years in charge, including last term when he led them to an incredible seven wins from their remaining nine matches.
This established the 39-year-old as one of the best young coaches in the country, and he courted interest from Aston Villa and Liverpool. But he decided to remain loyal to the Latics, and this season, he has guided them to a first piece of major silverware when, last week, they upset the odds by beating Manchester City in the FA Cup final.
However, on Tuesday night they eventually lost their place in the top-flight, when a 4-1 defeat at Arsenal sealed their return to the Championship after an eight-year absence. Where this leaves their highly-rated manager remains to be seen, especially as Everton are thought to be interested as they seek a replacement for David Moyes.
Wigan chairman Dave Whelan has now revealed he will hold discussions with Martinez next week, after their final game of the season against Villa. And whilst he will not stand in the way of the former Swansea City boss should he opt to take a fresh challenge, he believes he could hold out for a bigger club than the Toffees.
“I will have a meeting with Roberto next week and we both trust each other implicitly,” he told Sky Sports. “Roberto has been a fantastic manager for Wigan and I hope he will continue to be a fantastic manager for Wigan for at least two or three years to come. I have always said that if he wants to leave he can just say so and I will release him immediately.
“I just think that Roberto, when he goes to a big club, that I was thinking of a big European club. Everton are a great club by the way and if he chose to go to Everton I am sure their supporters would be delighted. Personally I have nothing against Everton. I love that club. Everything about them is top class and if he went there I would wish him the best of luck, but I just think he will go to a bigger club than Everton.”