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Dutch duo linked with vacant Everton post

Southampton boss Koeman being linked with Everton job
Southampton boss Koeman being linked with Everton job

The Dutch duo of Frank de Boer and Ronald Koeman are believed to the front runners to take over at Everton, after Roberto Martinez was sacked.

De Boer and declared himself ready for "something else" after leaving his role as Ajax coach in the wake of their dramatic failure to regain the Dutch Eredivisie title on Sunday.

The 45-year-old, who has been linked with a move to Everton, saw his side fail to get the win they needed at lowly De Graafschap, handing rivals PSV Eindhoven their second straight crown.

In a statement on Ajax's official website, De Boer said: "I began to realise more that it was time for something else.

"This is better for me and also for Ajax. What I will do? I don't know yet - a year without a club is also an option. I'll see what comes my way."

De Boer's availability could spark interest on the blue half of Merseyside, where Roberto Martinez left his position as Everton manager on Thursday afternoon.

The Toffees have yet to drop any hints about their long-term plans to replace Martinez, with David Unsworth and Joe Royle taking charge for Sunday's final game of the season against Norwich.

But De Boer has emerged as the bookmakers' favourite for the post, ahead of the likes of Mark Hughes, Ronald Koeman, Manuel Pellegrini and David Moyes.

The former Barcelona, Rangers and Holland defender, who is seen as one of the top continental coaches having led Ajax to four consecutive Eredivisie titles prior to their recent disappointments, added: "I have had a fantastic time here, first as a player and also in the past decade as a coach.

"After winning four league titles in succession last season was a disappointment. We wanted to rectify last season but it was not what we hoped or expected."

Meanwhile, Koeman has hinted that he may be tempted to make a move this summer, although his current club Southampton will be desperate to hang on to a coach who will guide them to their highest points total in a Premier League season if they avoid defeat against Crystal Palace on Sunday.