Everton are cooling their interest in appointing Vitor Pereira as their next manager, according to reports that put Wayne Rooney firmly back into contention.
After the sacking of the unpopular Rafael Benitez, Everton need to get their next appointment right. Hovering above the relegation zone, they could be in unprecedented trouble if not. A top-flight club since the 1950s, they won’t want to drop down now.
Therefore, finding a new manager who can inspire a turnaround in fortunes is an urgent matter. They need someone the fans can get behind after the divisive decision to hire ex-Liverpool boss Benitez in the summer.
Reports on Monday indicated that Vitor Pereira appeared to be the man ready to take the Everton reins.
The 53-year-old has endured a lengthy coaching career, with his biggest roles being at Porto between 2011 and 2013, and Fenerbahce across two different spells.
Pereira won consecutive Portuguese league titles with Porto. He also won a domestic double in Greece in half a season with Olympiacos, and two trophies in China with Shanghai SIPG.
The Daily Mail and talkSPORT were among those to claim Everton have interviewed Pereira. What’s more, he reportedly impressed. But others have raised doubts about his suitability for the role.
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And knowing the backlash faced over the Benitez appointment, majority owner Farhad Moshiri is willing to explore alternatives to Pereira.
That’s according to an update from the Daily Mirror, who suggest that although Pereira is the favourite, Everton are still looking elsewhere.
Their plan is to have someone in place before their next match, against Brentford in the FA Cup on February 5th. It is claimed that it could be an interim manager if they don’t agree upon a permanent successor to Benitez.
Everton still have Pereira alternatives
But they are planning to speak to a number of candidates still, with Wayne Rooney thrown back into the mix.
After enjoying two spells with Everton as a player, the England legend is cutting his teeth in management with Derby County. In difficult circumstances, he is doing an admirable job in the Championship.
The Mirror claim he could be in consideration if Derby allow Everton to speak to him. However, there is a feeling they may go for someone with more experience.
There will apparently be one last attempt to lure Roberto Martinez back from Belgium. If not, they could also speak to Niko Kovac – recently sacked by Monaco and formerly with Bayern Munich – or ex-Lyon boss Rudi Garcia.
And although Pereira seems set for further talks, Moshiri is willing to listen to other suggestions.
But the Mirror remind he is impatient when appointing new managers. Therefore, they expect him to make a decision quickly. Should no other talks bear fruit, that could still lead to the instalment of Pereira.
Only time will tell which route Everton go down, but that may not be too long a wait.