Everton are in discussions over a three-year contract for Vitor Pereira to become their new manager.
Positive talks have taken place with the Portuguese although his present club, Shanghai SIPG, are prepared to make a lucrative counter offer to keep him in China.
It is understood that it remains Pereira’s preference to return to coach at a major European club and Everton are hopeful of appointing the 41 year-old, although they are aware that there could potentially be other offers for him.
Pereira earns an astonishing €23 million at Shanghai SIPG who are prepared to offer him even more money to stay even if it is just for one more year.
Pereira is the favourite for the permanent post, although there is a possibility that if he does not agree a deal Everton could pursue former Chelsea manager Carlo Ancelotti, if he is sacked by Napoli.
Contact has also been made with Unai Emery who was dismissed by Arsenal. The Gunners would be saved a big compensation bill if Emery made an immediate return to management in the Premier League, although the Spaniard may choose to take his time before seriously considering offers and it is unclear how serious Everton’s interest in him is.
Pereira has been interviewed for the Everton job before and is well thought of by the club’s owner Farhad Moshiri, while chairman Bill Kenwright has pushed the cause for a return for David Moyes which now seems unlikely. Everton are focussed on trying to make a swift managerial appointment to permanently succeed Marco Silva, despite Duncan Ferguson’s winning start in caretaker charge.
Ferguson took some of the pressure off Moshiri by guiding the team to a much-needed victory over Chelsea. But it is understood Moshiri still favours trying to find a permanent successor to Silva, who was sacked last week, as quickly as possible.
Getting the new man in relatively quickly would allow Everton to plan effectively for the January transfer window and give him more chance to get to know his squad. Everton face Premier League games against Manchester United, Arsenal, Burnley and Newcastle United before the New Year.
The fact that the process is being led by Moshiri and influenced by Kenwright will raise further questions over the role and level of involvement of director of football Marcel Brands. Former Bayern Munich manager Niko Kovac was at Goodison Park to watch Everton’s victory over Chelsea, but it is believed he will wait until the summer before looking for a new job.
Kovac is thought to be interested in the Premier League and is expected to watch more matches in England during the rest of the season.