Martinez rejects Villa, remains with Wigan
© AFP

Wigan Athletic manager Roberto Martinez has turned down the chance of taking over at Aston Villa, it was confirmed today.

An Aston Villa statement said Martinez, 37, had featured prominently on the club's shortlist of candidates to replace Gerard Houllier but had chosen instead to see out his contract with Wigan.

"Roberto met with his chairman [Dave Whelan] earlier this week and he made the decision to honour his commitment to Wigan," the Villa statement said.

Martinez opted to repay the faith shown in him by Latics owner Whelan, who has signed him both as a player and manager.

I haven't finished my job at Wigan Athletic - there is much work still to be done.
Roberto Martinez, Wigan Athletic manager

"Roberto's staying and that's the great news," Whelan told Sky Sports. "He's signing a new three-year contract. But to be honest, money is not what this has been about. I'm over the moon."

Martinez said: "Over the last two years the chairman has been very supportive to me and loyal, and now I feel I need to be loyal and supportive back to him. I haven't finished my job at Wigan Athletic - there is much work still to be done.

"I don't know how long that will take but such is the belief that I have always had that I would only ever decide to move once the club is ready for a new manager."

Villa had requested and been granted permission to approach Martinez after he emerged as the front-runner to take over at Villa Park.

He's signing a new three-year contract. But to be honest, money is not what this has been about. I'm over the moon.
Dave Whelan, Wigan Athletic chairman

"The club would like to thank Wigan Athletic Football Club and its chairman, Dave Whelan, for their professionalism in dealing with our request to speak to Roberto Martinez," Villa said.

"Roberto's qualities as a young and aspirational manager ensured him of a position high on our shortlist of potential new managers.

"Given that he had one year remaining on his contract at Wigan, we made an official approach through the proper channels, though we were aware of a commitment he had made to his club to agree and sign a new contract following the final game of last season.

"We remain focused and are working hard to secure the best candidate for Aston Villa who will complement the club's commitment to be true to our heritage, competitiveness and passionate fanbase, and will have the new manager in place to prepare the players for the pre-season programme and next season's campaign."