Wigan chairman Whelan has revealed he is now in talks with a candidate to replace Chris Hutchings, who was sacked this month after barely six months in the job.
'I am in advanced talks with one outstanding candidate. The process is going well,' Whelan told Sky Sports News.
'We hope to make an announcement in the very near future.
'We don't want to jeopardise anything at this stage.'
Former Oldham, Everton and Ipswich manager Joe Royle has emerged as one of the favourites for the job after former boss Paul Jewell revealed he had turned down 'a fabulous offer' to return to Wigan.
Jewell left Wigan in May after a 1-1 draw away to Sheffield United on the final day of last season ensured their survival in the Premier League and has had an extended break from the game.
Now he is keen to return, but rejected an offer from Wigan chairman Dave Whelan to replace his former assistant Chris Hutchings, insisting he has done all he can for the club and wants a new challenge.
'The chairman called me last week and made me a fabulous offer and I said to him that I would stick to what I had said in May,' Jewell told Sky Sports News.
'I have had my time at Wigan, I enjoyed it immensely and I think it's time for myself and Wigan to search for pastures new.
'I wish them nothing but success, and the most important thing now is keeping them in the Premier League.
'I am very proud of the fact that when we were there, we took them from the third tier of English football and left them as a Premier League club which no one would have believed before we went there.
'I've got a unique relationship with the football club and the chairman and I think I have done well for them. I want to leave it at that.'
Wigan revealed earlier that Jewell had rejected the chance of a return to the JJB Stadium and are now looking at other applicants.
Royle has emerged as the favourite for the job, and Jewell added: 'Whoever takes the Wigan job has a good enough squad to get out of trouble. Joe has been there, seen it and done it.
'He is a very experienced man, and he ticks all the boxes. But there are a lot of managers who are out of work, and they have got a decent list to choose from I should think.'