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Whelan willing to re-hire Bruce

Harry Harris
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Steve Bruce finished 14th and 11th in the Premier League with Wigan © PA Photos
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Wigan Athletic chairman Dave Whelan has suggested he would consider reappointing Steve Bruce if Roberto Martinez left the club.

Martinez has held talks with Liverpool and has also been linked with the vacancy at Aston Villa, despite turning down the club last year.

Whelan is awaiting a definitive answer from Martinez as to whether he will remain at the DW Stadium but, should he leave, the Latics chairman is already considering his options.

He told ESPN: "I am hoping to keep the manager I already have but, of course, ever since Liverpool approached me I have had to think of a possible contingency plan and, of course, there are two or three names that spring to mind.

"Steve Bruce is someone I have always got on with - I never sacked him, don't forget. He left for Sunderland but we have remained on good terms.

"I have not spoken to anyone yet, and I don't need to because there are one or two excellent managers around at the moment who are not in work. At the moment, no one has applied, the job isn't advertised, as we await to hear what Roberto has decided to do."

Bruce had a brief spell in charge of Wigan in 2001 before returning in 2007, finishing 14th and then 11th in the Premier League before departing for Sunderland.

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