Everton hold further talks with Rafa Benitez over vacant managerial role with former Liverpool boss expecting an offer from owner Farhad Moshiri – despite board being split in light of his ‘small club’ comment while at Anfield
- Former Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez is close to taking over as Everton manager
- Benitez would replace Carlo Ancelotti at the helm after his departure this month
- The move would see Benitez return to the Premier League after two years away
- Benitez is said to be waiting for an offer from the club regarding the vacant role
Rafa Benitez has held further talks with Everton and he is now expecting to receive an offer to become their new manager.
It would be a hugely controversial move by Farhad Moshiri, the club’s majority shareholder, to appoint the former Liverpool boss but it is understood that Benitez has spoken to the Iranian three times in the last fortnight and believes he will receive the opportunity to follow Carlo Ancelotti.
Everton held a two-and-a-half hour board meeting on Tuesday to discuss the managerial situation – notably the prospect of bringing Benitez on board – and what emerged was the fact that it does not have unanimous backing. Moshiri is very much in charge of the situation.
Rafa Benitez (above) is reportedly close to taking over as Everton manager for next season
It would be a controversial move by Farhad Moshiri to appoint the former Liverpool boss
A significant proportion of Everton supporters reacted with fury last night about the prospect of Benitez taking charge at Goodison Park, with many unable to forget his time in charge at Anfield and a barb after a Merseyside derby in February 2007 that ended 0-0 when he called Everton: “a small club.”
His suitability from a professional sense is beyond question, having won the Champions League, La Liga and the Europa League twice during his career. His family have never left Merseyside and the position is undoubtedly attractive to the 61-year-old.
The situation, though, has similarities to the one that surrounded Nuno Espirito Santo, the former Wolves manager, who last Friday was led to believe that a written offer would be coming his way over the weekend but has yet to receive a formal proposition from Moshiri.
Benitez has had a storied career in the English top-flight, lifted the Champions League, FA Cup and the UEFA Super Cup with Everton rivals Liverpool during the years 2004-2010
Everton had been linked with Nuno Espirito Santo and David Moyes over the vacant role
Marcel Brands, Everton’s Director of Football, had put together a list of candidates and it is understood that Roberto Martinez, who is currently overseeing Belgium’s quest to win the European Championships, has support to be re-appointed to the position he occupied until May 2016.
Everton have also spoken to Duncan Ferguson, the club icon who made an impression on Moshiri when he had a caretaker spell in charge in December 2019, while Brighton boss Graham Potter is also a potential candidate.
The unpredictability of Moshiri, however, means this is process is anything but straightforward.
There is frustration within some parts of the club at the scattergun way he has gone about trying to replace Ancelotti but appointing Benitez – if that is the route he chooses – would be the most controversial decision of his five-and-a-half years at the helm.