Surprising developments yesterday when American owner Randy Lerner interviewed a number of candidates for the vacant Aston Villa job.
N’Zogbia and Wigan manager Roberto Martinez
Two top candidates – former England manager Steve McClaren and former Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez, seemed to have been interviewed and then passed over, as the news this morning is that Wigan boss Roberto Martinez is flying back from his vacation to speak further with Lerner.
While it’s not yet official, Roberto would hardly interrupt his vacation, unless a deal was almost been agreed with Aston Villa and his signing could even be coming today.
It seems that Lerner bowed to pressure from Villa fans not to sign Steve McClaren, and we have a good idea why the conversation with Rafa wouldn’t have lasted too long.
The former Liverpool boss would most likely have asked for huge transfer money to be made available, as his very first question.
Gerard Houllier ended his time at the club by mutual agreement after another heart scare, and it’s difficult to see how Gerard can return to football management, and for the sake of his health he shouldn’t.
Wigan chairman Dave Whelan said last night:
“Villa have acted above board. They wrote to me asking for permission to speak to Roberto.
“He was on holiday at the time and I granted Villa permission. I presume he’s spoken to Villa now.”
“I would still be surprised if he is their new manager. I’ve made it clear to him I’ll be extending his contract.”
“I’ve never let him down on anything and he’s never let me down. But you can never say never.”
Roberto Martinez is an excellent manager and has done very well at Wigan, and just think what he could do with some very good players at Aston Villa.
This is an opportunity Roberto can hardly turn down, and he seems an excellent manager who knows the game very well, and seems a really good guy too.
This will be difficult for Wigan Athletic and even more reason for Charles N’Zogbia to leave the club in the summer, and hopefully arrive back at Newcastle for a decent fee.
Charles can do a job at Newcastle in the next few seasons, and the news is that he’s more than willing to come back.
And maybe Chris Hughton would be a candidate for the Wigan job, and that’s of course if he doesn’t land the Cardiff City manager job next week.
What do you think?