Roberto Martinez has turned down an offer to become the Aston Villa manager, opting to remain with Wigan Athletic.Martinez, 37, became the leading candidate to succeed Gerard Houllier at Villa Park, who formerly stepped down due to health issues on June 1.
Villa had a request to hold talks with Martinez granted by Wigan chairman Dave Whelan earlier this week.
But the Spaniard declined to meet Villa officials, instead opting to remain at the DW Stadium.
“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,” Aston Villa said in a statement.
“Roberto’s qualities as a young and aspirational manager ensured him of a position high on our short list 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.”
“Roberto met with his chairman earlier this week and he has made the decision to honour his commitment to Wigan.”
“Therefore, we have not met Roberto and we have not had the opportunity to discuss the vacant managerial role with him.”
“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 fan base, and will have the new manager in place to prepare the players for the pre-season programme and next season’s campaign.”
Martinez, who moved from Swansea to become Wigan manager in 2009, is now expected to sign an extended deal – on improved terms – with the club where he spent six years as a player between 1995 and 2001.
Rafael Benitez, Steve McLaren and Mark Hughes have all been linked with Aston Villa.