Everton are set to imminently announce Victor Pereira as their new manager and replacement for Rafael Benitez, according to reports. The Portuguese has become the frontrunner for the vacant job and is poised to beat former Chelsea boss Frank Lampard, who was also twice interviewed.
The Toffees sacked Benitez on January 16 after just six-and-a-half months at Goodison Park following a run of only one win in their last 13 Premier League games.
Under interim boss Duncan Ferguson, 16th-placed Everton also slumped to a 1-0 top-flight defeat at home to Aston Villa last Saturday. The result leaves them just four points above the relegation zone and they are at risk of dropping to the second tier for the first time since 1951.
Amid the threat of relegation to the Championship, Everton are poised to make Pereira their next manager over Lampard according to the Daily Mirror.
It’s claimed owner Farhad Moshiri has made the Portuguese their preferred candidate despite his recent struggles with Fenerbahce, Olympiakos and 1860 Munich.
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Pereira was sacked by all three clubs, including twice by Fenerbahce, and oversaw 1860 Munich’s drop to the Regionalliga Bundesliga, Germany’s third tier.
Moshiri has decided upon the 53-year-old despite senior executives on the club’s board having apparently wanted to take a patient approach to the recruitment of the next manager.
Lampard and Pereira were two of the main options and both were asked to make second presentations to Moshiri, while club legend Wayne Rooney was another option being looked at, though no contact was made.
The board thought that they would take time to ensure they made their right decision, but Moshiri has decided upon Pereira and it is claimed by the Mirror that Everton’s majority shareholder is now ready to make an appointment.
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Lampard has been out of work for 12 months since being sacked by Chelsea but had some success at Stamford Bridge and with Derby County, who Rooney currently manages.
The 43-year-old has also been linked with the Crystal Palace, Newcastle and Norwich jobs in recent months but is set to be snubbed by Everton.
Pereira, who won two league titles as Porto manager earlier in his career, has twice before been interviewed by Everton having been an option to take the job in 2013, 2017 and 2019.
He was last in a job last month but was axed by Fenerbahce after just five months, during which his record was 25 matches played, 11 games won, seven drawn and seven lost.
That the full Everton board are not entirely behind Pereira will cause concern among the club’s fanbase given Moshiri was the chief backer of the sacked Benitez.
Just a month before the Spaniard was axed, the club owner declared that Benitez needed time and he signed Vitalii Mykolenko, Nathan Patterson and Anwar El Ghazi while selling Lucas Digne before his exit.
Everton return to action after the winter break with an FA Cup fourth-round tie at home to Brentford before crunch clashes with fellow relegation battlers Newcastle and Leeds.
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