Everton are set to open talks with Nuno Espirito Santo on Wednesday, with the former Wolves boss the leading candidate to replace Carlo Ancelotti.
Ancelotti left Everton after 18 months to return to Real Madrid in a sudden exit from Goodison Park; Nuno left Wolves by mutual consent at the end of the season; West Ham boss David Moyes also a front-runner to return to Goodison Park.
As meetings to find Ancelotti’s successor continue, Nuno appears to be in pole position, enjoying strong support in the Everton boardroom.
Majority shareholder Farhad Moshiri has been impressed with Wolves’ development under the Portuguese coach – and sees him as an excellent fit to work with the present squad.
West Ham boss David Moyes is also considered a front-runner for the vacant role, with a possible return to Goodison Park on the cards eight years after he left the club for Manchester United.
The club expects this summer’s transfer window to be a busy one – both for arrivals and departures – and believes Nuno has the skills to shape a squad capable of winning trophies at Goodison.
Everton see him as a candidate that is hungry for success and with a point to prove after his unexpected sacking by Wolves at the end of the season.
Moyes, who managed at Goodison between 2002-2013, would be welcomed back by many Evertonians and also enjoys support within Goodison’s boardroom, after an impressive season at West Ham.
Moyes’ family home remains in Lytham St Anne’s and he is yet to sign a three-year extension to his contract on offer from West Ham.
Some reservations remain that Moyes and Everton’s present squad of players are not an obvious fit – and are markedly different to the group the former Manchester United manager has enjoyed success with at West Ham.
Other candidates who have been discussed by Everton include another former boss Marco Silva – and the man who came close to replacing Silva following his sacking in December 2019, Vitor Pereira.
Nuno’s compatriot, Pereira, was this week linked with the vacant manager’s job at Lazio and is known to be keen on the Everton job.
Other candidates linked with the surprise vacancy, including Rafa Benitez, Roberto Martinez and Steven Gerrard, appear out of the frame at least for now as Everton look for their sixth manager in five years.