Wigan have given Aston Villa permission to speak to Roberto Martinez about the vacant managerial job at Villa Park

The Spaniard, who kept the club in the Premier League thanks to a four-game unbeaten run at the end of the season, has spoken to Villa officials who are on the look-out for a successor to Gerard Houllier, who stood down earlier this month for health reasons.

Latics chairman Dave Whelan confirmed Villa had approached him but expects the 37-year-old to remain at Wigan.

He told the Daily Telegraph: "Aston Villa have acted above board and in a totally professional manner. "They wrote to me asking for permission to speak to Roberto. He was on holiday at the time and I granted Villa permission.

"He arrived back yesterday and I presume he has spoken to Villa. I have made it clear to him I will be extending his contract.

"I have never let him down on anything and he has never let me down. I know I can never say never in football, but I would be very surprised if he is Aston Villa's new manager."