Everton could announce the appointment former Liverpool, Chelsea and Newcastle boss Rafa Benitez as their new manager in the coming days after agreeing a deal with the Spaniard to replace the departed Carlo Ancelotti at Goodison Park.
Ancelotti quit the club at the end of last season when he was offered the chance to return to Real Madrid for a second spell in charge at the Bernabeu, leaving the Toffees in the lurch.
Positive talks have been taking place between Everton and Benitez throughout June and, despite his six-year association with city rivals Liverpool between 2004 and 2010, he is set to take the job.
According to Sky Sports, agreements have been reached over ‘key aspects’ of a proposed contract and Benitez is expected to put pen to paper in the next few days, after which an official announcement from the club is expected to soon follow.
Everton had also been in touch with ex-Wolves boss Nuno Espirito Santo, but ongoing interest in Benitez was part of the reason the Portuguese was ultimately not offered the job.
Everton will be Benitez’s fourth Premier League club and the Toffees stand to benefit tremendously from his vast experience and proven record in England, even though some fans continue to have misgivings about the appointment given his time spent across Stanley Park at Anfield.
Benitez famously guided Liverpool to Champions League glory in his first season at the club in 2004/05. He took them to another final in 2007 and oversaw a serious Premier League title challenge in 2008/09 that pushed eventual champions Manchester United to the wire.
The former Valencia boss – the only coach other than Diego Simeone to win La Liga with a club that isn’t Real Madrid or Barcelona since 2000 – later returned to England as an initially unpopular interim coach at Chelsea, winning the Europa League in 2013.
Benitez spent two years at Napoli after that, before getting the chance to coach Real Madrid in 2015, the club where he started his own playing career in the youth ranks. Ironically, it was Ancelotti he succeeded at the Bernabeu after the Italian had been sacked.
Benitez joined a sinking Newcastle in March 2016. He was unable to steer the club away from relegation but stuck around and secured an immediate promotion by winning the Championship the following season. The Magpies then finished 10th in their first year back in the top flight.
His last job was in charge of Dalian Professional in the Chinese Super League.
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