Reds push ahead with manager search

PA Sport
Roberto Martinez
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Roberto Martinez

Liverpool are expected to step up the task of appointing their new manager in the coming days with a shortlist taking shape.

Wigan boss Roberto Martinez has already spoken to principal owner John Henry, having taken a break from a Caribbean holiday to fly to Miami for a meeting on Thursday.

It is expected other candidates will now also be spoken to in a more formal capacity, with Henry and chairman Tom Werner likely to travel to England as Fenway Sports Group go about whittling down their options.

Martinez remains the favourite with the bookmakers, although that could have something to do with the fact he is the only contender publicly confirmed as being in the running.

But having spent just over a week assessing potential candidates FSG are ready to press ahead with the serious business of identifying the man they want to lead their bid to restore former glories at Anfield.

While ex-Porto and Chelsea boss Andre Villas-Boas appears to have dropped out of the reckoning it is reported the Reds have not ruled out a second approach for Swansea's Brendan Rodgers after he declined their initial invitation to open preliminary talks.

Wigan chairman Dave Whelan, who set his manager a deadline of June 5 to decide his future, is still not convinced Martinez will take the job should it be offered because the structure Liverpool are proposing would take away the all-encompassing freedom he has enjoyed at the DW Stadium.

He told Sky Sports: "A little bit will have to do with the attitude of the owners because I don't think they fully understand the game of football in England. Roberto likes total control, from the youngsters at 16 to the first team. If he doesn't get that I don't think he will take the job."

However, former Wigan and Liverpool goalkeeper Chris Kirkland believes the Spaniard would regret not seizing the opportunity should it arise.

"What he'll be thinking to himself is: 'Will I get this opportunity again?'" said the 31-year-old, who had three seasons under Martinez at Wigan. "The Liverpool job is still one of the biggest in the world - and it doesn't get offered to you every day. It's a massive job and it will be a massive opportunity for somebody," he told the Wigan Evening Post.

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