Everton should do everything in their power to prise Diego Simeone away from Atletico Madrid according to club legend Kevin Ratcliffe, who thinks the Argentinian fits the criteria needed to take the reins at Goodison Park.
Simeone emerged as a rather unlikely candidate for the vacant Toffees position earlier this week, with the club's majority shareholder Farhad Moshiri looking for a glamorous European name to pull his side away from the relegation zone.
The former Inter Milan midfielder is very unlikely to heed Moshiri's call and will not leave Atletico until the end of this season at the earliest having recently signed fresh terms with Los Rojiblancos.
Simeone is contracted to Atleti until 2020, but Ratcliffe, who skippered Everton to two league titles, one FA Cup and one European Cup Winner's Cup, wants the Toffees hierarchy to look at managers with the pedigree of the Argentine if they are as ambitious as they claim to be, though he admits their current plight has made attracting esteemed bosses a damn sight harder.
"Of all the potential candidates to be Everton manager, Diego Simeone's name has now been thrown into the ring and I think he'd be a great choice if we could get him," Ratcliffe stated in his column for the Liverpool Echo.
"He typifies what we want as a manager. I like his style of play and they way he sets up a team. Look what he's done at Atletico Madrid. He's been brilliant over the last few years.
"For me he ticks a lot of the boxes and if we are ambitious then we've got to do everything we can to get somebody like that. I can't really think of anybody else who sticks out like that to make us a better club than we are at this moment in time.
"Would we be able to attract him without European football? There's always the hope that we can get back to that a year later but it's looking a long way off right now.
There has been talk of Everton plumping for a quick-fix, appointing a manager that will ensure their Premier League season before looking for another at the end of the season. Many would view this as a logical step, but Ratcliffe thinks the Merseysiders will be hard-pressed to find someone that is willing to keep things ticking over for just six months.
"If we were to get Simeone then it probably wouldn't be until next season so what would we do in the meantime?" Ratcliffe said.
"No manager is going to come in and sign a six-month contract – I just can't see that. There's got to be a big, big bonus for that manager then. You may as well sign him on a two-year contract and get rid of him at the end of the season!
Sam Allardyce was identified as the man to come in an perform a firefighting job at Goodison Park, but talk regarding the England manager succeeding Ronald Koeman has quietened in recent days amid suggestions of a disagreement over the length of contract.
Ratcliffe admitted his surprise at Allardyce's desire for a long-term deal and doesn't think the Everton board have a clear idea of who they should go for at this stage, with caretaker boss David Unsworth looking all the more likely to take control of the Toffees' trip to Crystal Palace after the international break.
"In truth, as a manager, your contract can be as long as you like but it's never really much more than a 'one year deal' given the results you achieve. The one person I thought might have fancied a short-term role is Sam Allardyce but we're now hearing otherwise.
"It's weird really. One minute you're supposedly retired as a manager, the next you're seemingly looking for a longer contract. I thought a short-term role at Everton might have suited Big Sam. It is a club you could turn around, no doubt about it.
"Do we keep David Unsworth in there or bring somebody else in? It's a big, big decision and I don't think that the board are quite sure what they want at this moment. We just don't seem any nearer. Hopefully over the next few days it becomes a bit clearer and we've got someone in place."