With Carlo Ancelotti set to be announced as Real Madrid’s new manager, Everton find themselves looking for their fifth permanent boss in as many years.
The bookies have become accustomed to pricing up a market on the new Goodison Park leader in recent years, with some obvious names popping up with each sacking of a manager.
This time is different, with Ancelotti leaving Merseyside to return to the Bernabeu, as opposed to the Everton hierarchy relieving a man of his duties.
Ancelotti will be a difficult man to follow, with some new names cropping up alongside the usual contenders.
Let’s take a look at the men at the top of the market.
Nuno Espirito Santo
There can be no denying that Santo’s last season at Wolves was a disappointment, but the Molineux outfit suffered key injuries throughout the campaign and struggled to replicate the form that earned them consecutive seventh-placed finishes upon their return to the Premier League.
Those two hugely impressive first seasons in the top flight earned Wolves a crack at the Europa League, and perhaps Nuno’s greatest achievement at the club is guiding them to the quarter-finals of that competition at the first time of asking. Holding the eventual winners in Sevilla until an 88th minute winner sent them into a semi-final with Manchester United, Wolves did themselves proud in Europe’s secondary competition.
Everton fans are desperate to see European football back under the lights at Goodison, and Nuno has proven that he can take a side there via the Premier League.
One of those names continually linked with the hot seat on the blue half of Merseyside is Eddie Howe.
The former Bournemouth boss has made no secret of his admiration for the club in the past and claims to have supported the Toffees as a youngster.
Howe has been without a club since parting ways with the Cherries after the 2019/20 campaign, and would jump at the chance to manage Everton.
His style of football would likely be accepted on Merseyside, although his lack of experience at a higher level may be a cause for concern.
David Moyes enjoyed 11 years at Goodison that saw him transform the club from regular relegation candidates to consistent European qualification.
The former Manchester United gaffer has just enjoyed an excellent season in charge of a West Ham side that returned to the Europa League after a sixth-place finish.
The Hammers hierarchy will be keen to keep Moyes in London, and there does seem to be a feeling of “been there, done that” from the Everton faithful in regards to a potential Moyes return.
His potential reunion with the Blues may depend on how much sway Bill Kenwright still has at the club, with the former chairman a vocal admirer of the way in which Moyes operates.
The man who once labelled Everton a “small club” couldn’t be offered the chance to manage them, could he?
Stranger things have happened in football, and Benitez has been continually linked with the job in recent years.
His Liverpool connections make a return to Merseyside unlikely, but a man who has enjoyed success at Valencia, Inter Milan, Chelsea and Napoli is difficult to ignore for a club that have just finished tenth in the league.
It would be a surprise, but Benitez isn’t opposed to taking jobs where he isn’t a popular choice, as was the case at both Chelsea and Real Madrid.
Probably the longest shot out of the five mentioned names here, Antonio Conte would be a name that Everton fans would love to see manage their club.
A pipe dream? Perhaps. But then there was lots of sniggering when the Ancelotti to Everton rumours first started circulating.
They have the budget to entice most names in Europe, but will Conte be willing to take the reigns at a struggling Premier League club after just leading Inter Milan to their first Serie A title in 11 years?
That seems unlikely, but he would be the superstar appointment that majority shareholder Farhad Moshiri wants.
At this early stage, it remains unclear who will be appointed at Goodison Park, but Evertonians will be desperate for some stability with Roberto Martinez the only man to manage more than 100 games for the club since Moyes departed eight years ago.