Everton are discussing four potential candidates to become their new manager and owner Farhad Moshiri’s top target is Diego Simeone, Sky Sports News understands.
Simeone’s Atletico Madrid side are fourth in La Liga and the Argentinian is understood to be happy at the club, and unlikely to leave mid-season. He signed a new contract in September until 2020.
Moshiri will meet fellow board members before the weekend and is understood to be willing to back a new long-term manager, with funding to match some of the biggest in the Premier League.
Representatives of Sam Allardyce are understood to have met with Everton to discuss the former England manager taking the reins until the end of the season.
But Sky Sports News has been told by sources close to the 63-year-old that reports of a £100,000-per-week contract offer are “totally inaccurate”.
Allardyce, who left Crystal Palace on health grounds six months ago, is understood to want a long-term contract but the Toffees, presently, are only proposing a deal until the end of the season.
One source told Sky Sports News: “For Sam to come back into football management, he needs to be excited by the prospect of the long-term project. A deal until next May simply won’t do that for him.”
Everton’s director of football Steve Walsh is understood to be backing a move for Allardyce with his former England assistant Craig Shakespeare, who worked with Walsh at Leicester but was sacked as their manager last month, re-joining him as number two.
Were Allardyce to join Everton, his first game in charge would be away at Palace and against another former England manager in Roy Hodgson.
A sudden return to work for Allardyce will reportedly trigger a £2m compensation package for Palace because he has taken another job before July 2018.
Everton’s interim manager David Unsworth also remains under consideration, meanwhile, and their 3-2 win over Watford, having been 2-0 down, has only improved his chances. Chairman Bill Kenwright is known to be Unsworth’s biggest advocate as a short-term solution.
Watford’s manager Marco Silva is also known to have his supporters at Goodison Park, including Moshiri, having started the season well since taking over at Vicarage Road in the summer. However, behind the scenes, Watford appear confident of keeping their recent appointment.