Roberto Martinez is set to become the new manager of Everton, according to Wigan’s garrulous chairman, Dave Whelan.
The Spaniard has been interviewed by the Toffees, and Whelan says he has already agreed a compensation fee for the early release of the FA Cup winning manager from his contract.
That amount is thought to be in the region of £2 million.
"[Everton manager] Bill [Kenwright] and myself have sorted out the compensation and Roberto is free to do a deal with Everton if he wants,” Whelan told the BBC.
"I gave Roberto permission to speak to Everton last week. He came back and told me it had gone well, I think he was down to the last two or three on the list, and then their chairman rang me to discuss the compensation deal and we agreed that this evening."
Everton however, have denied that Martinez has already been selected to replace David Moyes at Goodison Park.
"In response to regrettable and somewhat premature reports earlier this evening, Everton are continuing discussions with regards to the vacant managerial position. Whilst positive moves are being made, the club will officially announce details as and only when they are agreed and completed," a Toffees statement said last night.
Meanwhile, not for the first time, Whelan has been forced to explain some of his outlandish comments, after he initially said that Everton was “not a big enough club” for Martinez.
"Sometimes I like to wind up the chairman at Everton,” Whelan backtracked.
“We have had some really entertaining games between Everton and Wigan over the years and when I said I didn't think it was a big enough club for Roberto I was winding up Bill and their supporters. It is a big club, no question.
"Everton are the next step before Roberto goes to the very top. We had coffee this evening. We are still very good friends and will be friends for the rest of our lives. He is a brilliant manager, a very nice person and very honest."