David Moyes
David Moyes will take over at Manchester United at the end of the season, but who will replace him at Everton? [Reuters]

The decision of Manchester United to appoint David Moyes may have come as a shock to many but Everton should have been well prepared for the departure of their long-serving manager.

Moyes had refused to sign a new contract with Everton and would have been free to walk away from the club at the end of the season. There had been plenty of speculation that he would decide to call time on his career at Goodison Park so a list of possible replacements should have already been discussed by the club's board.

Having had such stability with Moyes the club will be determined to find a manager who can now move Everton forward. It will certainly not be an easy job with such a tight budget but already there are plenty of names being linked with the role.

Below we look at some of the contenders who may well be approached by Everton in the coming weeks.

Roberto Martinez

The Wigan manager was heavily linked with Everton's Merseyside rivals Liverpool last summer but it seems as though he could now end up at Goodison Park. Martinez has earned plenty of plaudits for the job he has done at Wigan, creating a side that play stylish football which has seen them cause some major upsets. On a shoestring budget he has shown his eye for a bargain and has been widely praised for bringing Arouna Kone to the Premier League. Leading Wigan to an FA Cup final is an incredible achievement but the club may well find themselves in the Championship next season. The Spaniard deserves the chance to manage a bigger club and it is unlikely that chairman Dave Whelan would stand in his way.

Vitor Pereira

Pereria may well be an outside bet at this stage but the Portuguese manager has some pedigree. Despite just two seasons of top level experience, the 44-year-old has already won a league title and could retain that crown if Porto win their two remaining games this season. A former assistant to Andre Villas-Boas there are suggestions he would like to follow in his friend's footsteps and manager in England. With his contract up at the end of the season, Pereira would be free to leave the club, a major boost to Everton who would not have to come up with any form of compensation. Still a young and hungry manager, Pereira has experience of managing in the Champions League and may well be prepared to take over at Everton in order to prove his ability outside of his home country.

Neil Lennon

The 41-year-old is another who has limited managerial experience but has already tasted plenty of success. Lennon has won two league titles and the Scottish Cup since taking charge of Celtic in March 2010 and guided his side to a famous victory over Barcelona in the Champions League. While his domestic achievements do little to boost his profile - with little to no challenge coming from any other team in the SPL this season - he has impressed in Europe. Celtic are formidable at home and managed to qualify for the last 16 of the Champions League, an impressive feat given Manchester City and Chelsea were knocked out at the group stage. The chance to manage a top side in England may well be tempting for Lennon who spent the majority of his playing career this side of the border.

Michael Laudrup

Laudrup has enjoyed a sensational first season in English football. He continued Swansea's philosophy of playing passing football and was widely praised for his ability to find a bargain in the transfer window. The 48-year-old comfortably led Swansea to safety this season and even led the club to their first piece of major silverware when they thrashed Bradford 5-0 in the Capital One Cup final. The former midfield genius has also gained experience managing in Spain, Russia and Denmark, but Everton may well find it difficult to convince him to leave Swansea after just one season. Laudrup has always maintained that he wants to see through the project at the Welsh club and Everton would have to stump up a large fee to buy him out of his contract.

Rafa Benitez

The Chelsea manager may be out of work in the summer but he may well have plenty to show for his short spell in west London. The Blues should qualify for the Champions League and if they can overcome Benfica then Benitez can add the Europa League to his list of major honours. The Spaniard still has a house in Liverpool and has always spoken fondly about the city. He has proved his ability in Spain and England, winning two league titles with Valencia and the Champions League with Liverpool, and is an astute tactician. However, would Everton supporters accept a former Liverpool manager at the club? He has the strongest résumé of any of the contenders but his links to Everton's greatest rival may well mean he is an outside bet.

Let us know who you think Everton should appoint as their next manager.