Atletico Madrid's boss Diego Simeone has reportedly emerged as Everton's board number one target in their search for a replacement for Ronald Koeman.
The Toffees parted company with the Dutchman a fortnight ago and installed Under-23s boss David Unsworth as caretaker manager. The former Everton full-back has made no secret of his desire to take the job permanently, but three defeats from his four games in temporary charge means he unlikely to be afforded the opportunity, though he did oversee a hard-fought 3-2 victory over Watford on Sunday (5 November).
A host of managers have been linked to the vacant post on Mersesyside and while chairman Bill Kenwright is understood to be keen to see Unsworth given the opportunity to land the job permanently, the club's majority shareholder Farhad Moshiri is determined to bring in a more high-profile replacement for Koeman.
According to Sky Sports, however, Moshiri has now narrowed his shortlist to four names and has set his sights firmly on Simeone.
The Argentine has emerged as one of the best coaches in Europe during his spell at Atletico Madrid, whom he guided to a domestic double in 2013-14 and with whom he twice finished runners-up in the Champions League.
The Colchoneros, who are currently fourth in La Liga, are on the brink of elimination in the Champions League but Simeone appears unlikely to swap the Spanish capital for Merseyside. Furthermore, he has another two years left on his deal, which he extended in September.
Meanwhile, former England boss Sam Allardyce is understood to be reluctant to take the Everton job until the end of the season. Rumours emerged last week suggesting the 63-year-old was the Toffee's first choice, but they would only be prepared to offer him a six-month deal, while Allardyce is thought to be wanting a longer contract.
"For Sam to come back into football management, he needs to be excited by the prospect of the long-term project," a source close to the former Sunderland and Bolton manager told Sky Sports. "A deal until next May simply won't do that for him."
On Tuesday (8 November), Allardyce insisted he had not held talks with Moshiri about taking the reins at Goodison Park but admitted once again that he is willing to speak with the club.
"Nothing, at the minute. I am sat at home about to go to St Andrews for a League Managers' Association masterclass up there so I will be having a couple of days with one or two of my fellow managers," Allardyce told talkSPORT.
Asked whether he had entered discussions with Everton chief Moshiri, the former West Ham United boss said: "No, I haven't. It's like everything else, if somebody comes calling, there's the opportunity to speak."