Burnley boss Dyche the early favourite to take over from Koeman
Sean Dyche has emerged as one of Everton’s top targets following the sacking of Ronald Koeman as manager.
David Unsworth, a former Everton defender, will take charge for the short-term after stepping up from his role with the club’s U-23s.
He will be assisted by John Ebbrell, another former player, for tomorrow’s Carabao Cup fourth-round tie at Chelsea.
The pair could also take charge of Sunday’s Premier League match away to Leicester City – who are also searching for a new manager – while the club fully assess how to proceed.
One option is to keep Unsworth in place, possibly even until the end of the season should things work out, while Everton consider possible candidates, but Dyche is believed to figure prominently in their thoughts at present.
The Burnley manager has also strongly been linked to the Leicester job and there is a sense that, should he leave Turf Moor, he would prefer to move further south to be closer to his family home, which would count against Everton.
If a deal is agreed, it is thought Everton would have to pay Burnley £2.5 million in compensation, as well as meeting Dyche’s financial demands.
That would not appear to be a problem, given the money paid to lure Koeman from Southampton 16 months ago, but the optimism of that hiring, with a seventh-place finish in the Premier League last season and after spending unprecedented sums in the summer transfer window, has quickly evaporated during this disastrous campaign.
Dyche is not the only candidate being mooted as a possible replacement.
Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe – an Everton supporter – has long had his admirers at the club but it would also be difficult to lure him away mid-season.
The same would apply to the Watford manager Marco Silva.
Everton also admire Mikel Arteta, their former player who is working as Pep Guardiola's assistant at Manchester City but, again, it would be difficult to prise him away and would also appear to be a significant gamble, given his inexperience.
Everton may aim for either Carlo Ancelotti or Thomas Tuchel - both currently out of work - but although they would both be interested in coming to the Premier League, both would prefer a Champions League club or Arsenal, should a vacancy arise. Both appear long shots. Former Manchester United star Ryan Giggs has also expressed an interest in the role.
Everton decided to terminate Koeman's contract following Sunday's 5-2 home defeat by Arsenal, which left the club in the bottom three with just eight points from nine games.
Hours after the defeat, the 54-year-old was spotted dining at San Carlo restaurant in Manchester with his wife, Bartina, with Guardiola also in attendance.
Koeman arrived at Everton's Finch Farm training ground at 7am yesterday and oversaw first-team training, before then being called to a meeting with Everton chairman Bill Kenwright and chief executive Robert Elstone, during which he was told he was being fired. By lunchtime Everton had issued a statement confirming Koeman's departure.
The Arsenal defeat was clearly the final straw for Everton's majority shareholder Farhad Moshiri, who bought shares in the club in February 2016 and has now overseen the departure of two managers, having also sacked Roberto Martinez.
Unsworth took charge of the senior side for a match after that decision, at the end of the 2015-16 season, and is expected to fulfil the same role again, possibly for longer this time.
Moshiri had given Koeman his backing just a fortnight ago after their 1-0 home defeat by Dyche's Burnley, but since then Everton have drawn at Brighton, lost to Lyon in what has been a desperately poor Europa League campaign, and then been humiliated by Arsenal.
"Write what you want to write," Koeman said as he departed his post-Arsenal press conference, and they were his final public words as Everton manager, having arrived at the club with Moshiri proclaiming him the kind of big name needed to compete against the other "Hollywood" managers such as Guardiola, Jose Mourinho and Jurgen Klopp.
However, their recruitment has been poor and badly planned. Gylfi Sigurdsson has failed to justify the £45m spent on him, while the negligence of not replacing striker Romelu Lukaku after he was sold to Manchester United for a fee of up to £90m appears worse by the day.
Koeman also made it clear that Ross Barkley could leave and it will be interesting to see whether there is a way back now for the midfielder, injured at present, with Tottenham still hoping to sign him in the January transfer window. (© Daily Telegraph, London)