Everton has been without a manager since Carlo Ancelotti’s abrupt departure from the Merseyside club. Now reports from England state that Everton are very close to appointing Rafa Benitez as the new manager.
Everton has seen its manager position left vacant after Carlo Ancelotti’s shock resignation earlier this month. Ancelotti received an offer from Real Madrid after Zinedine Zidane’s resignation and chose to return to his “dream job” to complete “unfinished business”.
Everton majority owner Farhad Moshiri considered many candidates with the likes of former Wolves boss Nuno Espirito Santo, current West Ham and former Everton boss David Moyes, Brighton’s Graham Potter, former Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe and former Everton manager Roberto Martinez all being linked with the job.
However, Benitez is thought to have admirers within the club despite his affinity to Liverpool. He managed the Reds between 2004 and 2010 and won the Champions League in 2005, the FA Cup a year later. He has been out of work since leaving the Chinese Super League club Dalian Professional in January but has been keen to return to top-level management. Everton and Liverpool have a fierce rivalry that is known as the ‘Merseyside Derby’ and has been played out since the 1960s.
Benitez also won two La Liga titles and a UEFA Cup with Valencia. He guided Chelsea to the Europa League in 2013. He also won an Italian Cup with Napoli. His family is still based near Liverpool, on the Wirral peninsula, which makes the Everton job even more appealing to the Spaniard.
Everton is reportedly planning to announce Benitez’s managerial appointment early next week.