Rafa Benitez has been sacked as Everton manager after just 22 games at the helm, with the Toffees now in the market for a new head coach.
Eyebrows were raised when the former Liverpool boss was appointed at Goodison Park in the summer of 2021, with his strong ties to the Reds meaning that he had plenty of scepticism to overcome.
The Spaniard was unable to win over his doubters, with only seven wins collected during his tenure, and a replacement is now being sought on the blue half of Merseyside. Who will Everton turn to? GOAL takes a look at the contenders...
Who are the favourites to become the next Everton manager?
Somewhat surprisingly, current Belgium boss Roberto Martinez is the 6/5 (2.2) favourite to succeed Benitez at Everton.
He has spent time at Goodison Park in the past, with a three-year spell in charge of the Toffees taken in between 2013 and 2016.
Martinez claimed 61 victories from 143 games at the helm, reaching the semi-finals of both domestic cup competitions in his final season, but was sacked amid protests from supporters against his methods.
Another familiar face is the 7/2 (4.5) second favourite to take charge of the Toffees on a permanent basis, with many fancying club legend Duncan Ferguson to step up from an assistant manager role.
The Scot took in two spells with Everton as a player, registering 72 goals, and has formed part of coaching teams alongside Martinez, Ronald Koeman, Sam Allardyce, Marco Silva, Carlo Ancelotti and Benitez – spending four games in caretaker charge following Silva’s dismissal in December 2019.Getty Images
Wayne Rooney is another former favourite with strong ties to the Toffees that sits among the market leaders, with a product of the club’s academy system priced at 5/1 (6.0) for another return to his roots.
The former England international, who remains the all-time top goalscorer for his country and Manchester United, is currently cutting his managerial teeth at Championship side Derby.
He has earned plenty of plaudits for his work in testing times at Pride Park and is expected to take charge of Everton at some stage in the future.
Who are the contenders to become the next Everton manager?
Graham Potter is another to have generated plenty of speculation when it comes to inheriting the reins at Goodison, with a man currently in charge at Brighton now a 7/1 (8.0) shot when it comes to Everton’s next appointment.(C)Getty Images
Frank Lampard, a former England team-mate of Rooney, is available at the same price as he looks to get back into management following his sacking by Chelsea in January 2021.
Nuno Espirito Santo is another out-of-work coach with prior Premier League experience that could be targeted by the Toffees, with the ex-Wolves and Tottenham boss – who was dismissed by Spurs in November 2021 – available at 12/1 (13.0), while one-time Everton defender Slaven Bilic can be backed at 16/1 (17.0) as he also looks to get back into the dugout.
Who are the outsiders to become the next Everton manager?
Two Portuguese coaches sit at 25/1 (26.0) in the Everton managerial market, with Sergio Conceicao and Paulo Fonseca having seen moves to England mooted for some time.
The former is currently in charge of Porto, with domestic and European titles up for grabs there, while the latter left Roma in May 2021 and has been linked with vacant roles at Tottenham, Newcastle and Aston Villa this season.
Other outsiders for the post at Goodison - who are all 33/1 (34.0) shots at present - include ex-Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, current Burnley boss Sean Dyche and former Chelsea, United and Tottenham coach Jose Mourinho – who is now in Italy with Serie A heavyweights Roma.
All odds from Sky Bet and correct at time of writing on 17/01/2022. 18+. Please gamble responsibly