Everton’s chase for a new manager appears to be in the final stretch, with Rafa Benitez edging closer to an appointment on Merseyside.
This has been a busy and frustrating week for Toffees supporters as they plea with the hierarchy to appoint anyone but the Spaniard.
Unfortunately, they’ve been dealt some pretty lusty blows, with Nuno Espirito Santo now eyed by Spurs, Christophe Galtier moving closer to Nice and Lucien Favre revealing that he doesn’t want to return to football yet.
However, we should know by now to expect twists and turns. Spurs were on the verge of hiring Paulo Fonseca before a move collapsed at the 11tt hour. Crystal Palace have also experienced similar misfortune, with moves for Nuno and Favre falling through at the last moment.
That eventuality could also occur at Everton, with fresh reports claiming Benitez is being eyed for a vacancy elsewhere.
According to La Nazione (via Sport Witness), Fiorentina are considering the Spaniard as their new manager after gaining cold feet over initial choice Vincenzo Italiano.
If the Italian club can convince Benitez to swerve his move to Everton and return to Serie A instead, it would surely leave many Everton supporters delighted.
In the same manner that numerous Spurs fans voiced their concerns over a move for Gennaro Gattuso, many members of the Goodison Park faithful have protested against the idea of Benitez becoming their club’s new manager.
The 61-year-old’s association with the red half of Merseyside has led to worries over his loyalties, with a number of fans growing angry at the very idea that he’s even being considered.
With Nuno, Favre and Galtier all seemingly ruling themselves out of the running for the Everton job, it looked like a foregone conclusion that Farhad Moshiri and co were going to announce Benitez. However, this fresh titbit of information is likely to come as a huge source of hope for those who don’t want the Spaniard at Goodison Park.
This is a crucial summer after the departure of Carlo Ancelotti and, if Everton really want to secure a place in the Champions League, they need to get this appointment spot on.
Benitez has a rich history in Europe’s premier competition, winning it with Liverpool, but his recent managerial jaunts don’t cover him in too much glory.
The Spanish coach was sacked from Real Madrid, and although he got Newcastle promoted from the Championship, a lack of finances held him back in the northeast. A move to China then followed, which perhaps signalled that his best days as a manager were behind him.
At the risk of upsetting their supporters, it would surely be a wise idea for the Everton boardroom to consider other options.
They may well be forced into that situation if Benitez heads to Florence instead. Fan groups will likely be crossing their fingers that he does.