• Premier League

Whelan: I won't stop players following Martinez

ESPN staff
June 4, 2013 « Live County Championship coverage | Chartbeat test »
Roberto Martinez took Wigan to FA Cup glory © Getty Images
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Wigan chairman Dave Whelan said he will not stop Roberto Martinez taking players from the DW Stadium to Everton should he be appointed manager at Goodison Park.

Owner Whelan has claimed he has agreed compensation with Everton for manager Martinez, who has been in charge of Wigan for the last four years, paving the way for him to be confirmed as David Moyes' successor.

But, unlike in some situations where a club inserts a clause stopping their former manager returning to sign his old players, Whelan said Everton will be free to buy Wigan's top talents - providing they pay enough.

"There is no agreement. It is unfair and I don't believe in anything like that," he said. "If Everton want to sign any of our players for the right amount of money we will consider it."

Martinez has long tipped James McCarthy for a move to a top club while Callum McManaman was on Everton's books before being released as a teenager.

Shaun Maloney and Arouna Kone are also expected to attract interest from Premier League clubs while four out-of-contract players, including Antolin Alcaraz, have already confirmed they will leave Wigan and are available on free transfers.

And Whelan accepts that some of the FA Cup-winning players will want to return to the top flight as soon as possible.

"We have to face every single thing that relegation presents us," Whelan added. "It is normally the case certain players want to play in the Premier League and I can't blame them for that.

"Players sign contracts but sometimes one or two want to leave and it is difficult to stop them.

"Players are players and I believe in freedom in football. But we have a lot of players who are loyal to Wigan Athletic so we will just wait and see."

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