In the end money spoke for Carlo Ancelotti.
And that may well be the lesson Everton will take into their search for a new manager, as they look to replace the Italian barely 17 months into the job he had said was his “long term home”.
At the weekend, Ancelotti had given the board his commitment to the Goodison project, but barely 24 hours later found millions of reasons to change his mind, in the shape of a huge contract to return to Real Madrid.
He will reportedly double his salary at the English club by taking on the task of rebuilding the Spanish giants he approached late last week to announce his availability to them.
Many of course, would not blame him for accepting the lure of the Spanish giants, as they look to rebuild the club from top to bottom following the departure of Zinedine Zidane and perhaps several of their biggest stars.
But Everton will be stung, after giving the Italian the full backing of the board immediately after their capitulation on the final day of the season, when they needed victory to contend for Europe, but were humiliated by Manchester City.
The fans too, will not take easily the fact that Ancelotti was so strong in selling himself to Madrid, just days after he had reassured them he was not leaving, saying after the City defeat:
“It’s not true. I’m really happy to stay here. Obviously we have difficulties but I feel good here at Everton, it is my project, and my target is to make Everton better and better every year.”
Owner Farhad Moshiri met with CEO Denise Barrett-Baxendale, chairman Bill Kenwright and the rest of the board late on Tuesday evening to discuss the identity of the replacement for Ancelotti, after he went back on that statement, and similar ones in private to the board.
And one name would have stood out immediately, not only for his obvious success this season, but also for his proven love of Everton Football Club, meaning money would never be the sole motivator.
David Moyes is the stand out name on a short list of candidates, after taking West Ham to within two points of the top four and a Champions League place this season, with a squad widely regarded as inferior to that at Everton.
He of course, managed at Goodison for 11 years, taking them into the Champions League and the FA Cup final.
And it is his love of Everton which could persuade him to turn his back onto a trip into Europe next season with the Hammers. A return to his home in the north west would also be an attraction, and it is understood he would be open to talks with his former club.
There are other stand out names on the list, including another former Everton boss is Roberto Martinez, who has rehabilitated himself with a successful spell in taking Belgium to number one in FIFA’s world rankings.
Nuno Espirito Sancho would be a popular choice with the fans after forging such a close relationship with supporters at Wolves, while other names on the list include Eddie Howe, Sean Dyche, Frank Lampard and former Porto manager Vitor Pereira.
But Moyes came close to accepting the job back in 2019, and has since proved himself once more as a manager who can challenge for the European positions in the Premier League.
For all his glamour as a top European coach, Ancelotti was not able to do that, his teams lacking spirit in losing to the likes of Sheffield United and Fulham at home in games which could have put them into the top four.
There was a feeling at Goodison the Italian wasn’t able to motivate his players for the big games, but there is no danger Moyes would fail in that regard, and his stock has never been higher since he left the Blues – making him a favourite to return.