Everton are on the lookout for a new manager after giving Ronald Koeman the boot following a terrible start to the season.
The Toffees slipped into the relegation zone on Sunday as Arsenal inflicted what proved to be the final blow to the beleaguered boss.
Everton chairman Bill Kenwright and major shareholder Farhad Moshiri delivered their verdict to the Dutchman during a meeting at the training ground on Monday morning.
An Everton statement read:”Everton Football Club can confirm that Ronald Koeman has left the Club.
“Chairman Bill Kenwright, the Board of Directors and Major Shareholder Farhad Moshiri would all like to express their gratitude to Ronald for the service he has given to the Club over the past 16 months and for guiding the Club to seventh place in last season’s Premier League campaign.”
Everton invested around £140million into the squad in the summer but results have not matched expectations with just two wins from their opening nine fixtures.
We’ve taken a look at the main contenders to take over the vacant hotseat at Goodison Park.
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Enjoyed 11 mostly successful years at Goodison Park before leaving to succeed Sir Alex Ferguson at Manchester United in 2013. He did not see out a season in an ill-fated spell at Old Trafford and his career has not recovered since, having a disappointing stint at Real Sociedad before being relegated with Sunderland last term. The 54-year-old is still highly regarded by the Everton board but bringing him back may not go down too well with supporters.
The timing may be perfect for Wales boss Coleman. After nearly six years in charge of his national team, during which time he took them to the Euro 2016 semi-finals, Coleman is currently mulling over whether to pen a new contract with Wales having missed out on qualification for next summer’s World Cup. Coleman’s stock remains high from what he achieved with the Welsh in France two summers ago and he may feel now is the chance to have another crack at the Premier League.
It does seem unlikely that the vastly successful Italian, who has managed some of the game’s biggest clubs in Juventus, AC Milan, Chelsea, Paris St Germain, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich, would be interested in the Toffees. But he is suddenly available after being released by the German giants and perhaps Everton could underline their ambition by putting together a tempting offer.
The highly-rated Bournemouth coach has long been tipped for a bigger stage and the time could be right for him to consider moving on after a difficult start to the season. Howe cut short a previous spell at Burnley when he wanted to move back south for personal reasons, but time may have moved on and the opportunity to manage Everton would be different. Despite being a southerner, he was also a childhood Everton fan and there could be an emotional pull.
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Another of England’s bright young coaches who has long been considered a contender for bigger clubs. Dyche has twice led Burnley to promotion to the Premier League and last season kept them there in impressive fashion. Burnley have started the new season well and he will doubtless feel he still has plenty to achieve at Turf Moor – but Everton could prove too tempting.
So the last goal of Ronald Koeman's reign at Everton was scored by Oumar Niasse. Strangely appropriate.
— Richard Jolly (@RichJolly) October 23, 2017
Less experienced than the other candidates, Unsworth is currently the manager of Everton’s Under-23 team. The former defender came through the ranks at Goodison Park and is popular with the fans.
He stepped into the breach for the final day of the 2015-16 campaign after the sacking of Roberto Martinez and is a favourite with the bookies to do a similar job once more. Unsworth is likely to be given the job on an interim basis.