Steve McClaren and Owen Coyle front-runners to succeed Martinez at Wigan
Chairman Dave Whelan hopes to appoint club’s new manager today
Wigan chairman Dave Whelan is hoping to appoint a new manager today. Photograph: Nick Potts/PA
The Wigan Athletic chairman, Dave Whelan, hopes to appoint the club’s new manager today with Steve McClaren and Owen Coyle the front-runners to succeed Roberto Martinez.
The former England coach McClaren and former Bolton Wanderers manager Coyle are among 15 candidates whom Whelan has interviewed for the position this week.
Mike Phelan, who recently left his role as Manchester United’s assistant manager, and the United coach Rene Meulensteen are also under consideration, though Whelan has indicated his preference for an out-of-work candidate. “I expect to announce something,” said the Wigan chairman. “I still have two more lads to see. I’ve seen some great lads, top managers, and it could be we have to speak to one or two of them again.”
Whelan began his managerial search only after Martinez completed his move from the FA Cup winners to Everton on a four-year contract last Wednesday.
Whelan is keen to make a swift appointment as Wigan prepare for life in the Championship, a Europa League campaign and for the potential loss of several pivotal players.
Antolin Alcaraz, Maynor Figueroa and Franco Di Santo are all out of contract next month while James McCarthy and Arouna Kone are among those expected to preserve their Premier League status elsewhere.
Alcaraz, the Paraguay international defender, may follow Martinez to Goodison Park but has offers from a number of European clubs. “The total priority is for the manager to get us into the Premier League. If he can do that, then he’s done his job and he’ll be with us for a long time,” said Whelan.