Roberto Martinez: I rejected Liverpool job before Brendan Rodgers got it

Roberto Martinez has revealed he was offered the Liverpool manager’s job before Brendan Rodgers – but turned down the role because Latics chairman Dave Whelan persuaded him against it. Roberto Martinez turned down the Liverpool job because of Wigan chairman Dave Whelan (Picture: Action Images) The Spaniard held talks with Liverpool over the summer and was near to agreeing a deal before he went back to have one final chat with Whelan. The Latics chairman then convinced Martinez otherwise and instead persuaded him to sign a new three-year deal.‘We must educate people, in five or six years we [Wigan] reap the benefits,’ said Martinez. ‘Maybe I won’t be there then but this is not why I stayed, when Liverpool made me an offer.‘I stayed because my chairman is unique.’Whether Martinez will be at Wigan in five or six years doesn’t matter to the 39-year-old – it was more about putting a plan in place over the coming few years. Dave Whelan and Roberto Martinez have a special relationship (Picture: Reuters) ‘This summer, we sat down together – he had thought about the future of the club and I’d done the same,’ Martinez continued. ‘He knew that I had spoken with other clubs but he is so persuasive… I extended my contract for three years.’He wants to take the club to the next level, I know it will be difficult but it excites me a lot.’However those claims were denied by Liverpool co-owner Tom Werner, who refuted that Rodgers was anything but his first choice. ‘We engaged with a number of very experienced football people whose names have never been mentioned,’ said Werner.’We ended up focussing only on Brendan Rodgers – we never made an offer to any other manager. ‘We were extremely impressed with Brendan, with his thoughtfulness and devotion to Liverpool.’Brendan was the only candidate to whom we offered the position.’

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Brendan Rodgers warns Liverpool fans his master plan will take time

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has warned fans they may have to be patient as his vision for the way the team play will take time coming to fruition. Words of caution: Liverpool’s new manager Brendan Rodgers (Picture: PA) The Northern Irishman’s strategy at Swansea – whose game was based on possession, passing and pressure – won him great plaudits, but he stressed this approach cannot bring success overnight.   ‘For me it is going to take time for how I want to play and the philosophy I want to introduce,’ said the 39-year-old. ‘The principles of your game are based on the players you have. I’ll have a look at that and see if there is anyone I need to bring in to improve that.’ Meanwhile, Liverpool managing director Ian Ayre has branded Wigan chairman Dave Whelan a ‘comedian’ and claims he conducted a ‘sideshow’ during their search for a new manager. Whelan however, claimed his words had been taken the wrong way. ‘I cannot help it if some people misinterpreted what I said, which was that Liverpool wanted our manager – which they did as they asked permission to speak with him, and talked to him on a number of occasions,’ he told ESPN. ‘My response (to Ayre’s criticism) is a simple one – I wish Liverpool all the very best with their new manager. ‘They have appointed a super lad for the job, a very good manager, and I am very happy for them. ‘We’ve kept Roberto Martinez, so I wish them luck for next season.’

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Reds MD Ayre calls Wigan chairman a ‘comedian’

Liverpool’s managing director, Ian Ayre, has criticised the Wigan chairman, Dave Whelan, calling him a “comedian” over his conduct during the Anfield club’s search for a new manager. Liverpool were given permission to speak to Roberto Martinez but Whelan also provided the media with daily updates as talks continued. Liverpool gave the job to Swansea’s Brendan Rodgers.

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