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toff' call Who could replace Carlo Ancelotti as Italian leaves Toffees in a crunch?


Carlo Ancelotti has left his position as Everton manager to take up the role of head coach at Real Madrid. Photo: Jan Kruger/PA

Carlo Ancelotti has left his position as Everton manager to take up the role of head coach at Real Madrid. Photo: Jan Kruger/PA

Carlo Ancelotti has left his position as Everton manager to take up the role of head coach at Real Madrid. Photo: Jan Kruger/PA

Carlo Ancelotti has quit Everton to rejoin Real Madrid, leaving the Merseysiders’ reeling from having to appoint a fifth manager in five years.

The Italian finalised his Goodison Park exit on Tuesday having agreed a three-year contract with the Spanish club he previously managed between 2013 and 2015.

Everton’s late attempts to convince Ancelotti to stay during a frantic last 48 hours could not dissuade him from returning to the Bernabeu stadium, where he will replace Zinedine Zidane.

For Everton owner Farhad Moshiri, Ancelotti’s departure is an unexpected and depressing setback, leaving him embarking on an all-too-familiar recruitment process.

If there is any consolation for Everton after losing a manager of such calibre, it is financial. The Italian is walking away from an eye-popping deal worth around £11m (€12.7m) a year. As well as cutting that investment, Moshiri’s final negotiations were understood to be focused on securing a compensation figure from the La Liga giants.

There is no disguising how hurt Everton will feel by Ancelotti’s decision. Ancelotti moved to Goodison in December 2019 and often spoke of his long-term plans on Merseyside.

Asked about the Madrid job at the end of last season, he downplayed the possibility of a return: “This is good publicity for me, to be linked with Real Madrid, but it’s not true. I’m really happy to stay here. Obviously we have difficulties but I feel good here at Everton and my target is to make Everton better and better every year.”

Circumstances changed over the last week, with Zidane quitting and Real making Ancelotti their number one target. The board became aware of Madrid’s approach over the weekend, but it was clear that any hopes Ancelotti would reject the approach were misplaced.

Now it is back to the drawing board for the Everton owner as he seeks the candidate who can deliver the results to propel the club into Europe.

Eddie Howe

Has admirers in the Everton boardroom already and is readily available. A boyhood Everton fan, Howe has a point to prove after his last season in the top-flight with Bournemouth ended in relegation. Fans might need some convincing that he has the stature befitting their club, however.

Nuno Espirito Santo

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Widely praised for his work at Wolves before a difficult final season, Nuno is also a free agent and would not be fazed by taking over. He did cut an exhausted figure by the end of his time at Molineux and is known to be unhappy at being separated from his family in Portugal. His football is pragmatic rather than purist, but he has the nous to adapt to different resources.

David Moyes

His star is back in the ascent after a superb season at West Ham ended in European qualification. Widely expected to sign a new three-year contract at the London Stadium but the fact that he is yet to formally sign terms might offer Everton a sniff.

Might be a strange time to leave West Ham but Moyes’ bond with Everton runs deep.

Ralf Rangnick

Another who has been admired in the past, Rangnick’s influence on coaching has been felt throughout Europe. Has not been a manager since 2019, when he moved upstairs at RB Leipzig, so may not exactly hit the ground running, but would definitely win hipster approval.

Graham Potter

The golden boy of English coaching, despite Brighton’s underwhelming 16th-placed finish in the Premier League, Potter’s progressive football would surely appeal to supporters.

The question remains over whether he has the stature and temperament to take over a big club, but to know the answer, he needs a chance.

Rafael Benitez

A move for the man who won Liverpool’s first European Cup in 21 years in 2005 would be incendiary but makes sense. Benitez still has a house near Liverpool, he is available after a spell in China and has been hankering after a return to the Premier League. Fans sceptical over his red past might forget that if results picked up.

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Telegraph Media Group Limited [2021]

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