Rafael Benítez will be confirmed as Everton’s new manager after finalising terms on a three-year contract at Goodison Park.
The former Liverpool manager will be installed as Carlo Ancelotti’s replacement after personal terms were agreed with Everton’s majority shareholder, Farhad Moshiri. An official announcement is expected from the club on Wednesday or Thursday.
Benítez will be the most controversial managerial appointment in Everton’s history given his strong allegiances to Liverpool, where he won the Champions League in 2005 y el FA Cup in 2006, and the anger he caused among Evertonians when calling his new employer’s “a small club” after a Merseyside derby in 2007.
Animosity towards the 61-year-old has already spilled over into personal abuse on banners left outside Goodison Park, while another left near his family home in Wirral warned: “We know where you live”, although it was left outside the wrong house.
The opposition of many – though not all – Everton fans to the appointment has not deterred Benítez from accepting the offer to return to Premier League management, nor Moshiri from making another divisive managerial choice. Despite having a director of football in Marcel Brands, Everton’s majority shareholder has again personally driven the search for a new manager since Ancelotti stunned the club by returning to Real Madrid on 1 junio.
David Moyes was initially considered but the former Everton manager, overlooked by Moshiri when Ancelotti became available in December 2019, opted to sign a three-year contract extension with West Ham. Nuno Espírito Santo had expected to be offered the position after meetings with Moshiri, only for the Everton hierarchy to go cool on the former Wolves manager. Since then Moshiri has held several rounds of constructive talks with Benítez and considers him the best available candidate in a difficult market.
Benítez is expected to bring his longtime fitness coach, Paco de Miguel, to Goodison. But it remains to be seen where Duncan Ferguson, caretaker manager before Ancelotti and first-team coach under the Italian, fits into the new manager’s plans.