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Page last updated at 07:32 GMT, Friday, 29 May 2009 08:32 UK

Swansea warn clubs over Martinez

Roberto Martinez
Martinez is a close friend of Wigan chairman Dave Whelan

Swansea City chairman Huw Jenkins says he will block any approaches from other clubs to recruit boss Roberto Martinez.

Martinez has emerged as a strong contender to take over as Wigan boss, if current Latics incumbent Steve Bruce is tempted away to join Sunderland.

Martinez has also been linked with Real Sociedad, back in Martinez's native Spain, but Jenkins says his manager would be loyal to Swansea in any case.

"I wouldn't let anyone speak to Roberto," Jenkins told BBC Wales Sport.

"I would speak to Roberto on any issues that come in. We've got a good open relationship and if and when any approach was made I would discuss that mater with him fully."

Martinez's future with Swansea came into question on Wednesday when it emerged that Sunderland are hoping to recruit Bruce.

That would leave a possible vacancy at Wigan, where Martinez spent six seasons as a player after leaving Spain.

The 35-year-old remains a close friend of Latics chairman Dave Whelan, the man who convinced him to join the club in 1995.

Sociedad are thought to be seeking a new coach after current incumbent Juan Manuel Lillo failed to gain promotion back to the Primera Liga.

Uruguyan Martin Lasarte is thought to be the front-runner to take over the hot seat at La Romareda, but Martinez remains an attractive alternative for the fallen Basque giants.

Jenkins accepts Martinez has strong links with Wigan - as he has in Spain - but stressed the 35-year-old's sense of loyalty and commitment to the Swansea cause would override such connections.

"I firmly believe that it's the make-up of his personality that when he signs a contract he will see that through," said Jenkins.

"We've got a man in Roberto who's fully committed to his job and under contract for a few years.

"I don't think he wants to get involved every year in the manager merry-go-round that exists in our game and that ruins most football teams.

"There's far more about him as a man than to get involved in that."

Since moving into management with Swansea in 2007, Martinez has established himself as one of Britain's most respected young managers.

He secured promotion to the Championship in 2008 by winning the League One title in his first full season in charge.

His side's style of play won many plaudits last season as they almost reached the Championship play-off places.

As his reputation has grown, so too has the speculation linking him to a Premier League club or a return to the Spanish League.

606: DEBATE
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But Jenkins firmly believes that joining a club like Wigan, who finished 11th in the Premier League last season, would not represent an upward step in his career.

"They've got more funds available because of the Premier League handouts, so they would probably pay more wages and the manager would have a bigger budget to work with," added Jenkins.

"But looking at it from my point of view I don't see it as a step up at all.

"We've got far more potential for a greater support than Wigan would ever have and I firmly believe Roberto should be looking to the top six in the Premier League or the top teams around the world if and when he decides to move on.

"He's young enough and he's got plenty of time on his side to do that."

Swansea midfielder Joe Allen has benefited more than most from Martinez's preferred style of play, where sound technique takes precedent over physical attributes.

The diminutive midfielder says it would be a huge blow to the club if they were to lose their inspirational manager.

"I'm sure everyone at Swansea would definitely want to keep him," said the 19-year-old Allen.

"I owe a lot of my success to him. He's the reason I've pushed on this season."



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see also
Bruce free to talk to Sunderland
28 May 09 |  Sunderland
Uncapped trio not ready - Toshack
22 May 09 |  Internationals
Martinez planning minor changes
04 May 09 |  Swansea
Allen admits international dreams
04 Mar 09 |  Swansea
BBC Sport Wales coverage
03 Oct 11 |  Wales


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