Manager Roberto Martinez has decided to leave Wigan and he has been given permission to speak to Everton about their vacant position.
Martinez had a meeting with Wigan chairman Dave Whelan on Tuesday and told him he had decided to move on after four years at the helm.
The highly-rated Spanish boss led Wigan to a memorable 1-0 victory over Manchester City in this season's FA Cup final but was unable to keep them in the Premier League.
And Whelan said: "Roberto feels it's time to move on, he doesn't feel equipped to take Wigan back into the Premier League.
"I have to accept his decision and I think it shows his total honesty.
"He's been a fantastic manager and we'll be good friends for the rest of our lives. I respect him enormously and wish him luck wherever he goes.
"It was a difficult decision for Roberto, because he loves the fans and likes the way the club is run. I'm sure he's sad to leave.
"He's still on a contract with us and there's 12 months left on that contract. He can be released from that contract but there'll be a little bit of compensation to pay for whichever club wants him.
"The amount is somewhere around £2m. To get a manager like Roberto, I think it's very cheap.
"Everton chairman Bill Kenwright rang me last week and said, if our talks broke down, could he have permission to talk to Roberto?
"I told him I had a meeting with Roberto, that he would find out the outcome of that meeting, and I've given them permission to talk to Roberto immediately.
"We're all sad to lose him but, football being football, we've got a vacancy now and I've got to get a manager in place who can get us back in the Premier League.
"If anybody wants to apply, I'd welcome their application. I want the best manager I can get hold of and a man with the ambitions that I've got and our supporters have got."
The bookmakers are confident Martinez will now agree terms with Everton and he is 1/3 with Sky Bet to replace David Moyes at Goodison Park.
Martinez, 39, who spent six years as a player with the Latics, has been a popular manager in his four years at the helm.
He has had to contend with relegation battles in each season but has regularly earned plaudits for his positive style of play.
The former Swansea manager has been heavily linked with Aston Villa and Liverpool in each of the past two summers.
Wigan survived relegation from the top flight on the last day of the season in 2011 and last year won seven of their last nine games to produce a remarkable escape.
That was a feat that proved beyond them this term but they did claim handsome consolation with their stunning FA Cup final victory over City.
Meanwhile, Wigan defender Gary Caldwell believes Martinez has the potential to become one of the best managers around.
"He wants to play football the right way and gives players the freedom to do that and gives you great belief in what you are trying to do," Caldwell told Sky Sports News.
"I think tactically he is one of the best I have worked with. I think he showed that in the Cup final playing against a great Man City team, I think tactically he out-thought Mancini on the day and he won that battle, and I think he can do that in most games.
"He thinks about the game, he is very passionate about the game and players respond to him and give him all they've got.
"I think definitely he has got the potential to do that [become a top manager].
"He is a very young manager still and has got a lot of experience behind him, and that can only be good for him and furthering his career."