Martinez tops lengthy managerial candidate shortlist at Liverpool

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After Kenny Dalglish’s surprise sacking at Liverpool this week, the club have a large number of potential replacements in mind, with Wigan boss Roberto Martinez heading the betting at 4/7.

Martinez has welcomed Liverpool’s approach for his services, and with Wigan chairman Dave Whelan notified of the Reds’ advances, he has granted permission for the Spaniard to speak to Anfield representatives.

Though it is thought that Martinez is one of a number of candidates the club wish to speak to regarding their managerial vacancy, the 38-year-old has attracted much market support to take over on Merseyside.

Mixed opinion presides over the Spaniard, who has gradually improved Wigan’s Premier League performance in each of his three years at the helm at the DW Stadium.

Despite this feat, he maintains a win ratio only slightly excessive of 26 per cent, and such a record is detractive to the idea that he is the prime candidate to take the Anfield reins.

Certainly not the biggest name to be linked with the job though, Martinez appears unfazed by the fate of the last Liverpool manager who didn’t have the full support of the fans when taking charge.

Roy Hodgson lasted little over six months at the helm, but by declaring an intention to speak to Anfield officials, Martinez seems to be confident of avoiding a similar fate to the current England boss.

One man who does not want to discuss the vacancy however, is Swansea chief Brendan Rodgers, who rejected the advances of Liverpool owner John W Henry this morning.

His chances of landing the job at 12/1 odds appear further far-fetched in light of this, and 9/2 second-favourite Andre Villas-Boas may be a better option to invest in, though his appointment would again divide opinion on Merseyside.

A large number of Reds fans have called for the re-instatement of Rafa Benitez meanwhile, and the Spaniard could be worth investment at 8/1 to return to the club for whom he won the Champions League in 2005.

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