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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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