Wigan boss Martinez rejects Villa approach
* Spanish manager agrees new three-year contract (adds quotes, details)
LONDON, June 10 (Reuters) - Wigan Athletic manager Roberto Martinez has agreed a new three-year contract after rejecting an approach from Aston Villa, the club said on Friday.
The Spaniard was high on the shortlist of potential candidates to fill the manager's role at Villa Park after Gerard Houllier quit due to health reasons on June 1.
"Over the last two years the chairman (Dave Whelan) has been very supportive to me and loyal, and now I feel I need to be loyal and supportive back to him," the 37-year-old Martinez said on the club website (www.wiganlatics.co.uk).
"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."
Martinez joined Wigan from then second division side Swansea City in 2009 and quickly developed a reputation for playing attractive, passing football.
Budget restraints, however, have meant he has been unable to invest substantial sums in the team and he has struggled to propel them up the table.
They narrowly avoided relegation from the Premier League on the final day of this season following a 16th place finish the campaign before.
"Roberto staying that is the great news," Whelan said on Sky Sports on Friday.
"I had a gut feeling he wanted to stay at Wigan and either today or tomorrow he will be signing a new three-year contract.
"I am over the moon and I'm sure every Wigan supporter will feel the same."
Martinez's decision means Aston Villa are still no closer to replacing Houllier and installing a new boss at Villa Park.
They have been linked in the British media with former Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez and ex-England boss Steve McClaren. "Roberto's qualities as a young and aspirational manager ensured him of a position high on our short list of potential new managers," Aston Villa said on their website (www.avfc.co.uk).
"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."
(Reporting by Toby Davis; editing by Ken Ferris and Pritha Sarkar)