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Martinez to open Everton talks

Roberto Martinez is expected to begin talks on Wednesday to become the next Everton manager after his decision to leave Wigan, ESPN understands.

• Jolly: Martinez leaves in credit
• Blog: Really gone this time?

The 39-year-old is the leading candidate to replace David Moyes, who is taking charge at Manchester United following the retirement of Sir Alex Ferguson.

Martinez told Dave Whelan at a meeting on Tuesday that he wished to end his four-year stint at the DW Stadium, and the Wigan chairman then confirmed that he had given Everton permission to speak to the manager.

Whelan also revealed that he wants around £2 million compensation to release Martinez from his contract, which has 12 months to run.

Everton chairman Bill Kenwright, who has considered a number of candidates for the job, will now meet the Spaniard.

Kenwright has interviewed three members of Everton's coaching staff for the job - Alan Stubbs, David Weir and Duncan Ferguson - as well as departing club captain Phil Neville, who has just ended an eight-year playing stint at the club. He is also understood to have sounded out Porto manager Vitor Pereira - but Martinez is the chairman's first choice.

Martinez led Wigan to the FA Cup for the first time in their history as they beat Manchester City 1-0 in the final at Wembley on May 11.

But he was unable to keep them in the Premier League, with their relegation confirmed three days later as they lost 4-1 at Arsenal.

Whelan had hoped to keep Martinez at the club to lead a bid to gain promotion from the Championship next season.

But the manager, having asked for more time to consider his future after an initial meeting with Whelan last Thursday, told the chairman on Tuesday that he wished to move on.

Whelan insists that he is keeping an open mind as to who will replace Martinez at the DW Stadium.

Departing Manchester United first-team coach Rene Meulensteen and former Bolton manager Owen Coyle are among the early favourites with bookmakers.


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