Roberto Martinez moved closer to a return to his former team Wigan Athletic as manager on Thursday after the Premier League club's chairman Dave Whelan agreed a compensation deal with Swansea City. Martinez, 35, was one of three Spaniards who played for Wigan in the 1990s as they climbed their way up the English league ladder. He is set to replace Steve Bruce who moved to Sunderland on Wednesday. Wigan said in a statement on the club's official website they had been given permission by Championship side Swansea to speak to their manager Martinez about the vacant position. Whelan said on Thursday that Martinez was his first choice for the post. "I am delighted and I know the whole of Wigan will be excited we are getting one of the Three Amigos back," Whelan was quoted as saying by the BBC. "Roberto played good football and I've followed his career on and on. I like what I see and I am really excited Roberto is coming back to Wigan. Compensation was something we had to agree, that is only fair and right. "Hopefully, things will be sorted out and contracts signed by tomorrow (Friday) morning." Swansea initially refused to allow Wigan to talk to Martinez but agreed after an "appropriate level" of compensation was thrashed out between the clubs. Martinez has won widespread praise for his work at Swansea, leading them to promotion from League One as champions in 2008 and finishing a respectable eighth in their first season in the Championship this term. The other Spaniards who made up the Three Amigos were Isidro Diaz and Jesus Seba.
4 June 2009
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