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Whelan: Liverpool want Martinez

Wigan owner Dave Whelan has revealed that he has given permission for manager Roberto Martinez to speak to Liverpool about becoming the new boss at Anfield.

• Whelan advises Martinez against Reds
• Liverpool sack Dalglish
• Jolly: Dalglish out of time

Whelan told Martinez, who has received rave reviews this season despite only narrowly avoiding relegation with the Latics, that he won't stand in his way of succeeding Kenny Dalglish.

"I was actually with Roberto when our chief executive called to tell him that Liverpool have made their approach," Whelan told ESPN. "That happened about half an hour ago, and I told Roberto that he had my permission to speak with Liverpool.

"I knew that the day would come when this happened, so it wasn't unexpected, he is a good manager so I am not surprised a club like Liverpool want him.

"You have got to regard Liverpool as a big club, so I told Roberto that I wouldn't stand in his way, it was up to him to decide, and I shall await his decision, it is up to him and Liverpool now.

"I can imagine he will want to manage such a big club but I would willingly keep him if I could.

"He only signed a new three year contract three months ago, so yes you are right I would be due compensaton, but I would rather have Roberto than the compensation."

Whelan told ESPN on the day of the Dalglish sacking that he would advise his manager not to go to Anfield, but when the call came Whelan found it tough to tell him to refuse.

Meanwhile Dalglish tweeted his thanks to the Liverpool fans on Thursday night: "Overwhelmed by support of the fans," he wrote. "Always been special but even more so now. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. YNWA and I never have."


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