Liverpool legend eyed by Everton as surreal potential Ancelotti successor

Liverpool legend Steven Gerrard is on Everton’s shortlist to replace Carlo Ancelotti, according to a report.

Ancelotti is on the verge of leaving Everton to return to his former club Real Madrid, who have recently lost Zinedine Zidane. The Italian previously spent two seasons in charge at the Bernabeu and now looks set to return. In that case, Everton will lose an elite manager who will be hard to replace.

One of the early frontrunners suggested when news of Ancelotti’s impending move emerged was former Wolves boss Nuno Espirito Santo. However, it seems they are casting their net further.

According to The Athletic, a meeting of the Everton board began at 3pm on Tuesday. As Ancelotti negotiates his exit from his contract (which runs until 2024), his superiors are drawing up plans to replace him.

It is claimed that one name to be mentioned at the meeting is that of Gerrard, who previously dedicated most of his playing career to Everton’s arch-rivals Liverpool.

Gerrard represented the red half of Merseyside as a player between 1998 and 2015, before returning as a youth coach two years later. Since then, he has stepped into senior management with Rangers, whom he led to the Scottish title this season at the third attempt.

The 41-year-old’s reputation as a coach is growing and it seems he will manage in English football in the future.

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He has regularly been linked with an emotional return to Liverpool further down the line. Both his contract at Rangers and Jurgen Klopp’s at Liverpool expire at the same time in 2024, so he could be a natural successor.

But there is now a chance he could return to Merseyside much sooner – and to a different destination than expected.

He is not the only candidate The Athletic mention for Everton, but could be under consideration. There is also another with a Liverpool connection, ex-Reds boss Rafael Benitez.

Benitez is currently out of work after leaving Dalian Professional in China in January. His last stint in English football was with Newcastle, between 2016 and 2019.

Moyes, Martinez also among candidates

The report adds four more candidates. First, ex-Everton boss David Moyes could be lined up for a dramatic return.

However, Toffees chiefs are aware that they are unlikely to prise him away from West Ham after what he has achieved in London this season.

Hence, they may look further afield to some European managers. Paulo Fonseca, who left Roma last month, is one, while Ajax’s Erik Ten Hag and Belgium’s Roberto Martinez are also in contention.

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Martinez looks likely to get back into club football after Belgium’s Euro 2020 campaign ends. He has also been linked with the vacancy at Tottenham.

But a move to Everton would mark a return to familiar surroundings. He managed Everton between 2013 and 2016 before taking on the Belgium job.

The report adds that Everton are yet to make contact with any of their managerial targets. However, it seems they have plenty of options in mind.

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