Everton may try to reappoint David Moyes as their interim manager in the hope of hiring Carlo Ancelotti in the summer following the Italian’s sacking by Napoli on Tuesday night.
The Premier League club will quickly try to ascertain Ancelotti’s intentions in the knowledge that Arsenal could provide strong competition in the race to recruit him.
Ancelotti, 60, was dismissed despite securing Napoli’s place in the Champions League last 16 with a 4-0 win over Genk.
It is understood that Ancelotti may be reluctant to take over a team mid-season with Everton therefore prepared to reopen negotiations with Moyes, who has been holding on in the hope of returning to the club he managed for 11 years. However, to complicate matters, it is unlikely that Moyes will accept a short-term deal.
Everton had been in talks with Vitor Pereira over a 2½-year contract to succeed Silva, but he decided to rule himself out after receiving a counter-offer from his Chinese club Shanghai SIPG.
Everton are now ready to make an approach to Ancelotti, whose availability could also bring Arsenal into the equation. Mikel Arteta, who is assistant to Pep Guardiola at Manchester City, had been considered favourite for the Arsenal post.
But Ancelotti’s availability, together with Everton’s plan to offer him their job, will certainly grab Arsenal’s attention.
Ancelotti is understood to be open to the prospect of a return to England and he may want to gauge the strength of Arsenal’s interest before accepting an Everton offer.
It is over eight years since Ancelotti was harshly sacked by Chelsea after winning the Premier League and FA Cup during his two seasons there. He has since managed Paris St-Germain, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich. He joined Napoli in May last year, replacing Maurizio Sarri.
Despite leading Napoli to second place in Serie A behind Juventus in his first season, Ancelotti has been forced to deal with problems behind the scenes.
Aurelio De Laurentiis, the chairman, is notoriously difficult to deal with, having fallen out with a number of managers, including Sarri.
Italian sources had tipped Ancelotti to leave regardless of the result against Genk, with Gennaro Gattuso expected to replace him.
Pereira held talks with the Everton hierarchy and it was hoped an appointment would be made by the end of this week on a 2½-year deal.
However, the 51-year-old, who earns €23 million (£19.3 million) a year at Shanghai SIPG, has decided he does not want to take over at Goodison Park.
“It’s always an honour and I am utterly grateful to be considered on a list by a club that I have so much respect for,” Pereira said.“At this point, I am still the coach of SIPG, a club close to my heart in a country that is growing immensely in football.
“Currently, I am not in a position to make any other commitments. I cannot decide now, I need time to think and plan my future by looking to all the options I have. It’s a league I love and, yes, for sure, I would consider an opportunity in the future.”
Everton have spoken with former Arsenal head coach Unai Emery, who could move up the club’s wishlist if they miss out on Ancelotti.
Mauricio Pochettino is also highly admired, but it would be a big surprise if the Argentine returned to management at Goodison Park.