Rafael Benitez is on the verge of becoming Everton manager after holding talks with the club.
The Spaniard has roots in Merseyside after a six-year spell at Everton’s bitter local rivals Liverpool and his family still live in the city.
Benitez is considered a legend at Liverpool having won the Champions League in 2005 and now it appears Everton are keen to bring him back to Merseyside as coach.
Football
Sharjah announce signing of Everton winger Bernard
22/07/2021 AT 20:07
The 61-year-old has been on the hunt for a new job since leaving Chinese side Dalian Yifang in January and according to Sky Sports, he is the number one choice of the Everton hierarchy.
Carlo Ancelotti rocked Everton last month when he jumped ship to re-join Real Madrid, leaving the Toffees with another rebuild ahead.
They have held talks with several managers including former Wolves boss Nuno Espirito Santo and there was even talk of David Moyes returning to the club before he penned a new deal with West Ham.
As well as Liverpool, Benitez has managed Chelsea and most recently Newcastle in the Premier League.
It is unclear how Everton and Liverpool fans might react to the news of Benitez becoming a Toffee, but the appointment is sure to raise some eyebrows among supporters.
Benitez once called Everton a ‘small club’ after a Merseyside derby in 2007 and was forced to take back his comments after riling supporters.
"I made a mistake when I said it was a small club," he explained.
What I wanted to say was they are a small team because in this game I remember they had one chance.
"Liverpool fans they were happy and the Evertonians were upset. But I didn't want to say they were a small club, I wanted to say they were a small team.
"Some Evertonians they come to me and say about what I did for the city, we have the charity, and all these things, so I have a very good connection with the city, not just the Liverpool fans.”
The Guardian claim Benitez is still awaiting a formal offer from Everton and is confident he can win over fans should he take charge.

Modest Locatelli gives credit to 'a fantastic group' after Italy moved into the knockout stages

Premier League
'I'm not scared' - Everton boss Benitez prepared for fan backlash
14/07/2021 AT 14:35
Transfers
Man Utd target Italy defender Di Lorenzo - Paper Round
10/07/2021 AT 22:31