Former Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez is ‘willing to talk’ to Everton about the vacant managerial post at Goodison Park, according to Patrick Boyland and Greg O’Keeffe.
Everton are looking to secure a new manager ahead of the summer transfer window after Carlo Ancelotti left to return to Real Madrid last week.
Benitez has been out of work since January after leaving Chinese Super League club Dalian Yifang. The Spaniard led Liverpool to the Champions League and UEFA Super Cup in 2005, as well as the FA Cup a year later.
Benitez is a decorated coach, having also won a pair of La Liga titles at Valencia early in the millennium and a Europa League crown with Chelsea, with the 61-year-old having 12 trophies to his name during his career in management.
It seems as if Benitez would entertain interest from Everton despite his association with Liverpool. However, Boyland and O’Keeffe noted for The Athletic that those links with the Anfield club continue to ‘make him a tough sell’ to some members of the board.
Meanwhile, there is said to be a willingness to bring back current Belgium boss Roberto Martinez in some quarters. Another former manager in David Moyes has also been considered, but there are ‘question marks’ over whether he would consider leaving Europa League-bound West Ham United and returning to Everton.
The Scot was ‘swiftly un-offered‘ the job in 2019 when the club were presented with the opportunity to hire Ancelotti instead.
Benitez is one of the most successful managers of his generation but you’d never want a manager to take a job under an immediate cloud, as Everton fans would probably be very quick to turn on him during a tricky run of form given his previous alliances with Liverpool.
It’s a good sign that a figure of his calibre is open to negotiations, but the Toffees hierarchy should look for a separate project given how fragile this one could be.
In other news, Eddie Howe’s chances of taking the job have also been rated.
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