Rafael Benitez has arrived at Everton’s Finch Farm training ground ahead of his unveiling as the club’s new manager.
Former Liverpool boss Benitez, 61, has agreed a three-year contract to become Carlo Ancelotti’s successor at Goodison Park after the Italian resigned from his post to return to Real Madrid on June 1. The Spaniard, who will become the Toffees’ fifth permanent manager in as many years, has received a mixed reaction from the Everton fanbase following news he is to be the club’s next boss. A threatening banner seemingly aimed at Benitez, reading “we know where you live, don’t sign”, was placed near his Merseyside home on Monday. Benitez’s arrival will come 11 years after he left Anfield, where he spent six years as Liverpool manager, winning the Champions League and FA Cup. Since leaving Liverpool, he has managed Inter Milan, Chelsea, Napoli, Real Madrid, Newcastle, and most recently Chinese Super League side Dalian Professional. Everton are understood to have considered up to eight candidates before club owner Farhad Moshiri and the hierarchy decided on Benitez. The club held talks with former Wolves coach Nuno Espirito Santo and also had an interest in their former manager David Moyes. However, Nuno is now in talks with Tottenham over finally ending their long search for a new boss, while Moyes signed a new three-year deal with West Ham. Belgium boss Roberto Martinez – another ex-Toffees manager – current Everton assistant Duncan Ferguson, Lille’s Ligue 1 title-winning coach Christophe Galtier and Eddie Howe were also on their shortlist. Everton’s 2021-22 campaign begins at home to Southampton, with the first round of fixtures scheduled to take place on the weekend of August 14-15.