By Wayne Veysey | Chief Correspondent
Everton have made Roberto Martinez their No.1 target to replace Manchester United-bound David Moyes, Goal.com can reveal.
The Wigan manager is the Merseysiders' standout choice to take over from the Scot, who is poised to bring an end to his 11-year reign at Goodison Park.
Everton have been preparing for the possibility of Moyes's departure at the end of the season for months given his failure to commit to negotiations to extend a contract that expires this summer.
Chairman Bill Kenwright is also an admirer of Porto manager Vitor Pereira, who was a guest of the club at a Premier League match over the Christmas period, but the Toffees will move first for Martinez if, as expected, Moyes takes over from Sir Alex Ferguson at Old Trafford.
|13/8||Roberto Martinez is 13/8 with Bet365 to be the next Everton manager
Although Kenwright claimed in an interview in April that no plans are in place for what would be the club's first change of manager in 11 years, it is understood that a shortlist of possible successors has been compiled, with Martinez's name at the top.
The 39-year-old Spaniard is much admired by Everton chiefs for maintaining Wigan's Premier League status since joining the north-west club from Swansea City in the summer of 2009.
He will lead the Latics out in Saturday's FA Cup final against Manchester City on Saturday but the club are on the brink of losing the top-flight spot that they have held for nine seasons following Tuesday's 3-2 home defeat to the Swans.
It was a defeat that leaves Wigan three points adrift of safety with a trip to Arsenal and a home fixture against Aston Villa to come.
Martinez held talks with Liverpool last summer before rejecting the opportunity to succeed Kenny Dalglish after refusing to work under a planned tier of executives with shared control of recruiting players.
He is believed to regard Everton as an attractive post, given the foundations put in place by Moyes in recent years.