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Whelan confident of keeping Martinez

Wigan chairman Dave Whelan has exclusively told ESPNsoccernet that he believes there is a good chance that his manager Roberto Martinez will reject the overtures of Aston Villa and stay with the Latics.

• Villa open talks with Martinez

Whelan gave permission for Martinez to talk with Villa, but feels his manager will remain loyal to Wigan after keeping them in the Premier League last season.

"I had a long chat with Roberto last night, and I think he will stay with Wigan, but I have left it to Roberto to make the final decision,'' Whelan told ESPNsoccernet.

"Contracts exist, the rules are in place, and I could have refused permission for my manager to talk to Villa, but that is not the way I go about things.

"I would never stop anyone talking to any club if that is what they want to do, that would be wrong in my book.

"I do believe that Roberto will go, one day, but it will be to a very big club in Europe, he is top drawer. But having had my meeting with him, I would be surprised if he was to leave, but it is up to him."

Martinez's contract at the club has 12 months left to run, but Whelan also maintained he had plans to extend it should the Spaniard opt to stay at the DW Stadium.

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