Liverpool back away from Villas-Boas interest to focus on Martinez

The Liverpool Echo has reported that former Chelsea manager Andre Villas-Boas is no longer on the shortlist to become the new Liverpool manager, leaving the path clear for Wigan Athletic boss Roberto Martinez.

The newspaper adds that while Villas-Boas was high on the wish list of Fenway Sports Group, the club’s owners, following initial talks between the parties FSG have ruled out the 34-year-old, with Martinez now the clear favourite despite not yet having met with John W. Henry or Tom Werner.

Martinez is currently on holiday in Barbados but has been given permission by Wigan owner Dave Whelan to speak with Liverpool about the possibility of replacing Kenny Dalglish, who was sacked earlier in May.

Brendan Rodgers, the Swansea City boss who rejected the opportunity to discuss the post, is also said to still be in contention despite his prior refusal. It is thought Rodgers could change his mind if it transpires he is on FSG’s shortlist, rather than the long list that is currently being worked through.

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