Wigan manager Roberto Martinez has revealed for the first time that he turned down an approach from Liverpool to become their manager earlier this summer.
Martinez was strongly tipped to replace Kenny Dalglish before the Reds switched their attention to Brendan Rodgers, and now he has claimed that a concrete offer was made by the Anfield club.
The Spaniard, who turned down the Aston Villa job last summer, revealed that his reasons for remaining at the DW Stadium centred around a chat with chairman Dave Whelan.
‘We must educate people,’ Martinez told the Daily Mirror. ‘In five or six years, we [Wigan] reap the benefits. Maybe I won’t be there then.
‘But this is not why I stayed, when Liverpool made me an offer.’
He added: ‘I stayed because my chairman is unique.
‘This summer, we sat down together. He had thought about the future of the club, I’d done the same.
‘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, Martinez’s claims are contrary to those of Liverpool co-owner Tom Werner.
The American, talking to the BBC last week, claimed that while a number of people were spoken to about the position vacated by Dalglish, Rodgers was the only one to receive an offer.
Werner said: ‘We engaged with a number of very experienced football people whose names have never been mentioned. 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.
When pressed about an apparent approach to Rafael Benitez, Werner added: ‘‘We talked informally to a number of people. We talked to a lot of people, some of whom have not been mentioned.’