Everton have held further talks with Rafa Benitez about their vacant manager’s position.
Owner Farhad Moshiri has engaged in a fresh round of interviews, despite coming close to agreeing terms with former Wolves boss Nuno Espírito Santo.
Former Liverpool manager Benitez now seems one of two leading candidates with the Goodison majority shareholder, despite a powerful negative reaction from the Blues support.
Benitez has returned to his home on Merseyside and wants the job – and will back his methods to quieten the outcry his appointment would inevitably prompt after he called Everton “a small club”.
Moshiri seems determined to push through his own appointment at Goodison Park even if it means going against the advice of his Director of Football Marcel Brands, who is sensitive to the reaction amongst fans against the talks with Santo and Benitez.
Nuno was expecting to receive a formal job offer last weekend with personal terms more or less agreed.
However, the fresh talks with Benitez explains both the delay in the process of appointing a new manager and suggests not everyone in the Everton hierarchy appears sold on the Portuguese.
Moshiri turned to Nuno after being turned down by former Blurs boss David Moyes, who has agreed a new contract with West Ham, after taking them into Europe.
The Portuguese 47-year-old had initially looked close to joining Crystal Palace, but talks with the Eagles eventually broke down.
Former Palace chairman Simon Jordan does not feel Benitez would be a good choice for Everton, and is of the belief the Spaniard is well past his best.
Speaking to talkSPORT on Tuesday, Jordan said: “Rafa Benitez, whilst being a very capable manager, that operates at the highest level at times is a manager is much more about reputation than deeds.
“If you look back on his period for time when his success was really there, that was a long time ago.
“He’s a manager that’s gone to China to get some money and now coming back because that opportunity hasn’t worked out.
“I’m not entirely sure he’s the right fit for Everton because I think ultimately maybe his time has been and gone.”