Roberto Martinez was unveiled as the new Everton manager in midweek, four weeks after his predecessor David Moyes was appointed at Manchester United.
The Sweeper has learned that Everton's search would have been even quicker had chairman Bill Kenwright not been so keen to allay the concerns of supporters.
As revealed by Goal on the day that Sir Alex Ferguson announced his retirement, Martinez was always the No.1 target of the Merseysiders to succeed Moyes.
But Kenwright and the Everton board were concerned about some of the negative feedback from fans after Wigan Athletic followed up their FA Cup triumph with relegation from the Premier League.
As a result, the Merseysiders conducted due diligence by interviewing three old boys – Phil Neville, David Weir and Alan Stubbs – as well as meeting with outsiders Vitor Pereira, the former Porto manager, and Ralf Rangnick, the Red Bull Salzburg sporting director.
Nonetheless, sources say the Everton manager's post was Martinez’s to lose and, after he convinced Kenwright of his merits in his formal interview, the deal was finally tied up after the Merseysiders agreed a £1.5 million compensation package with Wigan.
- Wayne Veysey
A bidding war is set to break out for Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere - but Gunners fans should rest easy.
The injury-plagued midfielder is wanted by top publishing houses to pen a book ahead of next year's World Cup.
Wilshere could receive a six-figure advance, although the days of millions of pounds up front for such deals are long gone after even Wayne Rooney struggled to shift the volume required to make a profit.
- Paul Clennam
BALDINI WAIVED PAY-OFF TO ENGINEER TOTTENHAM SWITCH
Franco Baldini waived a pay-off from Roma to help engineer a switch to Tottenham, The Sweeper has learned.
The former England No.2 left the Italian club earlier this week with two years remaining on a contract worth €600,000-a-year (£507,000).
As revealed by Goal, he is expected to join Tottenham this summer in a newly-created technical director role.
It is understood Baldini met with Roma president James Pallotta at the start of the week and agreed to end an acrimonious second spell at the Giallorossi without a pay-off from the club in order to smooth his exit.
Spurs chairman Daniel Levy has been pursuing Baldini for nearly a year to head a Continental-style set-up that is being reintroduced at White Hart Lane, where the well-connected Italian will aid his friend Andre Villas-Boas in recruiting players to the club.
Nonetheless, Baldini is not expected to immediately swap one club for another. It is understood that he does not want it to appear to Roma fans that he was negotiating a move to Spurs while still at the club, which means he might not officially be installed in north London for a few more weeks.
- Wayne Veysey
MOYES MAKING AN IMPACT IN UNITED TRAINING SESSIONS
It is a busy time for Manchester United's backroom staff despite the close season.
Unlike Sir Alex Ferguson, new boss David Moyes is a big advocate of getting involved in the daily training sessions and as such the Scot will receive the full compliment of initialed training gear.
The letters DM are being ironed on to anything with a label at the club's Carrington training ground.
One insider joked: "When you consider the amount of clothing the team get through, that's a hell of a lot of work!"
- Paul Clennam
STOKE'S HUGHES MOVES BEGAN IN APRIL
- Greg Stobart