Former Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez is set to be appointed as Carlo Ancelotti’s replacement at Everton, according to reports.
Benitez, 61, spent six years at the Toffee’s city rivals Liverpool, where he won multiple trophies.
Everton have been without a manager for the last month after Carlo Ancelotti left the Merseyside club to return to Real Madrid as Zinedine Zidane’s replacement.
According to Sky Sports News, Everton considered up to eight candidates for the vacant position, including former managers David Moyes and Roberto Martinez, as well as former Wolves boss Nuno Espirito Santo, who Tottenham Hotspur is now considering. Other candidates included current Everton assistant Duncan Ferguson, Christophe Galtier and Eddie Howe.
Benitez will become Everton’s fifth permanent appointment in as many years and has been out of work since leaving Chinese club Dalian Pro.
Benitez has experience working at the highest level in England. He spent six years at Liverpool, where he won the 2005 Champions League and 2006 FA Cup. However, his imminent appointment has angered Evertonians, who made their feelings known with banners outside Goodison Park.
Everton fans protest Rafa Benitez appointment with x-rated banners at Goodison Park
The fans have displayed their anger by hanging banners that say "Benitez not welcome" and "F*** off Benitez you fat Kopite c***". pic.twitter.com/cm3da4JMZw
— Lilian Chan (@bestgug) June 18, 2021
The Spaniard was also Chelsea’s interim manager for the bulk of the 2013/13 season, picking up the Europa League in his short stay. It has been reported that Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich recommended Benitez to the Everton board after being impressed by the Spaniard's work in 2012.
Benitez’s most recent foray in English football was with Newcastle United, where he stormed the Championship in 2017 after being relegated with the club the season prior.
Benitez won two La Liga’s with Valencia back in 2002 and 2004 and has managed at the highest level in Europe with clubs like Inter Milan, Real Madrid and Napoli on his CV.