Everton 'Close' to Appointing New Manager—But Who is in Contention?

Everton Caretaker Boss David Unsworth
David Unsworth, right, at Goodison Park, Liverpool, England, November 23. OLI SCARFF/AFP/Getty

Everton is "close" to appointing a new manager to replace Ronald Koeman more than a month after the Dutchman was sacked, majority shareholder Farhad Moshiri has revealed.

Koeman was sacked on October 24 following a 5-2 defeat at home to Arsenal, with the club naming David Unsworth as caretaker manager. But Everton has lost four of the six games Unsworth has overseen, including a humiliating 5-1 defeat to Atalanta in the Europa League on Thursday (24 November).

The club is three points above the relegation zone ahead of its trip to the south coast on Sunday to play Southampton, but the appointment of a new manager seems to be imminent.

"The first priority is to stabilise the club and finalise the appointment of a manager. We are close," Moshiri said, in a statement to talkSPORT's Jim White.

Watford manager Marco Silva is believed to have been the club's main target over the past month, with former England boss Sam Allardyce also linked with the job. But Allardyce said Everton "were hesitating" so ruled himself out of contention, while Watford has rejected approaches for Silva.

"Really best to say nothing more until a new team is appointed and we climb up the table," Moshiri added.

So who is the Everton owner talking about, then? The club has had a long-term interest in RB Leipzig's sporting director Ralf Rangnick, according to the Daily Mail. The 59-year-old has only managed in Germany but interviewed for the Everton job in 2013, losing out to Roberto Martinez.

Everton Caretaker Boss David Unsworth
David Unsworth, right, at Goodison Park, Liverpool, England, November 23. OLI SCARFF/AFP/Getty

Former Everton striker Duncan Ferguson has been tipped as a future manager of the club and has been on the first team coaching staff since 2014. Ferguson doesn't have any experience of management, however, which would make it a bold choice by the club.

Sean Dyche, the Burnley boss, is also a name linked with the role, having taken the Clarets to the Premier League and establishing the club in the top tier of English football. More ambitious names that have been mentioned are Atletico Madrid's Diego Simeone and former Chelsea, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich manager Carlo Ancelotti.

Everton is unlikely to remain with Unsworth as current form would see the club in a relegation battle until the end of the season. "When you put on the shirt you have to play with pride and effort and they didn't do that," Unsworth said after the defeat to Atalanta on Thursday. He is expected to be in the dugout for the trip to the St. Mary's this weekend.

Farhad Moshiri and Bill Kenwright
Farhad Moshiri, left, and Bill Kenwright at Goodison Park, Liverpool, England, November 5. Jan Kruger/Getty