Everton are said to ‘considering’ a controversial move for former Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez as the club’s search for a new manager continues.
Everton are currently assessing a host of options following Carlo Ancelotti’s departure earlier this month, the Italian leaving the club to return to Real Madrid as Zinedine Zidane’s successor.
The Toffees’ list of candidates is thought to include ex-Wolves boss Nuno Espirito Santo and former manager David Moyes, though talks with the former failed to convince.
Moyes previously spent more than a decade at Goodison Park and impressed in guiding West Ham to Europa League qualification during the 2020/21 season, though Everton are unwilling to make an approach for 58-year-old without receiving permission from the Hammers.
There is also a question mark over whether Moyes would want to leave an improving West Ham side to return to Everton, having been offered the job in 2019, before seeing the proposal withdrawn once Ancelotti became available.
That situation has led to alternatives being considered and the Telegraph are reporting that Benitez has now emerged as a serious option, with the Spaniard keen on a Premier League return after leaving Chinese Super League side Dalian Professional.
Benitez spent six seasons on the opposite half of the Merseyside divide and remains a popular figure at Liverpool, having guided the Reds to Champions League and FA Cup success during his spell at Anfield.
Benitez’s arrival would represent a shock appointment from owner Farhad Moshiri, who has struggled to find real direction with Everton despite a wealth of investment since his arrival at the club.
Everton have continually shown ambition in terms of wanting to challenge England’s elite, but their recruitment process has left a lot to be desired with no clear indication of style or direction when making appointments.
Brighton manager Graham Potter is believed to have admirers within the club, in particular from Director of Football Marcel Brands, with the Toffees having attempted to whittle down a shortlist of around 40 names.
There appears no real blueprint for incoming managers with each appointment to date a differing option, a situation that has failed to see tangible progress in recent seasons despite a large transfer outlay.
Benitez is available, boasts experience, silverware success and knows the Premier League well, but will his pragmatic style and previous Liverpool connections make him an easy sell to the Everton fanbase?
Read – Euro 2020 – Group A preview