Marcelo Bielsa and Sean Dyche are the two frontrunners to become Everton’s new manager.
Both have met the Everton hierarchy over the past few days and have impressed.
Further talks are expected on Thursday and the club remain hopeful of making an appointment before this weekend.
The Toffees sacked Frank Lampard on Monday after nearly a year in charge at Goodison Park.
Bielsa is Everton owner Farhad Moshiri’s preferred option, but the cost of bringing in the Argentine coach means the deal is a difficult one to do.
Bielsa and his backroom staff are likely to cost Everton up to £1m a month – a figure which would cover all the members of the coach’s support staff.
The former Leeds coach’s particular negotiating style sees him request a large fee which he then distributes throughout his coaching team, who come as a non-negotiable part of the package.
Dyche, meanwhile, has been out of a job since being sacked by Burnley last April.
Bielsa was removed from his post at Leeds two months earlier, with the Whites – who replaced the Argentine with Jesse Marsch – pipping Burnley to Premier League survival on the final day of last season.
‘There are difficulties, but Everton haven’t given up on Bielsa yet’
Daily Mail chief football writer Sami Mokbel on Back Pages Tonight on Sky Sports News:
“It’s no secret Marcelo Bielsa is Everton’s preferred candidate to replace Frank Lampard.
“They have been trying over the last 48 hours to try and get a deal over the line, but it is fraught with difficulties.
“I think Bielsa has looked at the squad and thought are they capable of adapting to his style of football? He has got this trademark high-energy, intense and high-octane style. He’s looked at the squad at Everton and maybe thought they could struggle to adapt, and he will struggle to implement his style there.
“That’s an issue. Financials, as ever in modern-day football, will be a factor.
“My understanding is that he earned upwards of £11m-a-year at Leeds but that also covered the costs of his staff as well. It wasn’t all for him, but it is still a big outlay, particularly for a club like Everton, who are cash strapped and have an array of financial difficulties that are well documented.
“There are a lot of hoops that Everton still need to jump through to get that deal over the line. They are trying and they are not giving up the ghost just yet.”
‘Dyche up for the job, but Bielsa is Moshiri’s top target’
The Athletic football correspondent David Ornstein on Back Pages Tonight on Sky Sports News:
“I’ve got huge respect for Sean Dyche and I think he would do a good job if he went in at Everton.
“It is not Farhad Moshiri’s first choice, however. That is Bielsa. I think Moshiri will do everything he can to get the deal for Bielsa over the line.
“Whether it is deemed the right one and whether it is deemed the right one by other at Everton as well, I really don’t know.
“I suspect there will be some in favour of someone like Dyche to get them out of this mess and try to rebuild. He would come with a smaller staff, and it would be a less complicated deal to strike.
“In terms of other options, we’ve seen Ralph Hasenhuttl mentioned. It’s been said to me that he won’t be going there, and it is very unlikely that he would take it.
“From things you hear, I think Dyche would be up for the job, and it may be harder to convince Bielsa, but it is not a good situation for Everton. It’s a bit of a mess at the club.”
Will Everton’s new manager work with Gordon?
Everton forward Anthony Gordon will return to training with the club on Thursday having missed two successive days – as his future at the club looks increasingly in doubt.
The 21-year-old has been the subject of interest from Newcastle in this transfer window but, despite reports, Sky Sports News understands he has not handed in a transfer request.
Gordon missed the squad’s return to the Finch Farm training complex on Tuesday following the sacking of manager Frank Lampard. The PA news agency understands the academy graduate was absent on Wednesday without permission, casting further doubt over his long-term future at his boyhood club.
Midfielder Amadou Onana, reportedly attracting interest from Arsenal, did rejoin the group on Wednesday having been given an authorised absence by the club the previous day.
Only a month ago, Gordon, whose current contract expires in 2025, was set to sign a new deal but things appear to have soured since then.
Moshiri in talks with American firm over minority investment
The American company involved in a potential investment into Everton is MSP Sports Capital.
Majority shareholder Farhad Moshiri is talking to the group about a possible investment in the club, after confirming he would welcome a minority stakeholder.
The American firm held talks this week with Moshiri regarding debt financing and two representatives attended Everton’s home match against Southampton earlier this month – which the board were told not to attend because of a “real and credible threat to their safety and security”.
Moshiri told the club’s Fan Advisory Board (FAB) that he is looking for help financing the construction of Everton’s new stadium at Bramley-Moore Dock in a video posted on the club’s website on Tuesday but recorded prior to their defeat to West Ham on Saturday.
That investment could come as anything up to 20 per cent in the club, but nothing more.