Roberto Martinez appears set for talks with Everton after leaving FA Cup winners Wigan Athletic, chairman Dave Whelan has confirmed.
The 39 year old leaves The Latics after four years at the club, which ended with the club's first ever major trophy after beating Manchester City in the FA Cup final at Wembley but relegation from the Premier League after eight years in the top flight.
Martinez is set for talks with Everton over replacing outgoing manager David Moyes, who will join Manchester United this summer.
"He wanted permission to move so I've given that," said Whelan.
"He has 12 months left on his contract, so whoever comes in for him must pay the remainder of his contract.
"He feels he's not the man to lead us back into the Premier League. I've got to accept what he feels.
"He loves Wigan and the fans. We have to move on now and want applications for the job."
After joining from Swansea City in 2009, Martinez guided Wigan to successive lower-mid-table finishes in the Premier League while operating on one of the smallest budgets in the top flight and producing some of the most enterprising football in the division, beating Stoke City on the final day of the 2010/11 season to escape relegation.
The 2011/12 season saw another flirtation with relegation combined with a late-season resurgence, with seven wins coming from their last nine league outings.
But this campaign, despite taking the club to the FA Cup final, securing victory over City in dramatic style through Ben Watson's 90th minute goal, Martinez couldn't secure another season in the Premier League, with relegation to the Championship confirmed after a 4-1 defeat to Arsenal.
Martinez has since stated he would consider his future at the DW Stadium amid links with roles at Everton and Malaga, with a move to Merseyside edging closer having turned down the opportunity to manager Wigan in the second tier next season.