Frank Lampard is in line to become the new Everton manager after a final round of interviews with the club’s hierarchy on Friday.
The former Chelsea and Derby manager is expecting to be offered the position after impressing Everton’s majority shareholder, Farhad Moshiri, and members of the club’s board during the process to find a permanent successor to Rafael Benítez.
Lampard, the current caretaker manager, Duncan Ferguson, who also impressed during his meeting, and Vítor Pereira all met Moshiri and the Everton hierarchy in London on Friday. Lampard and Pereira had already spoken to the club’s board several times before they decided to go for a final round and a quick decision before Monday’s transfer deadline.
Pereira, the former Porto and Fenerbahce manager, emerged as Moshiri’s preferred candidate on Tuesday and had expected to be offered the job after being asked to travel to London. A hostile reaction from fans to his potential appointment, however, discouraged Moshiri from making a decisive decision and the billionaire has now turned to Lampard in the hope of saving Everton from a first relegation in 71 years and unifying a disgruntled fanbase.
“Pereira out, Lampard in” was daubed on a wall of Goodison Park on Tuesday, and that graffiti artist’s wish has come true, though. The final details of Lampard’s contract have still to be finalised, however.
The appointment of the former England midfielder is expected to be completed quickly with the club in urgent need of midfield reinforcement before the transfer window closes. He will be offered a long-term contract to revive the faltering club.
Lampard has been out of work since being sacked by Chelsea 12 months ago. He took Chelsea into the Champions League in his first season in charge despite being under a transfer embargo and brought through several of the club’s academy talents who went on to win the Champions League under his replacement, Thomas Tuchel.
Lampardhas held talks with Crystal Palace, Aston Villa and Norwich during his year out of the game but looks likely to relaunch his managerial career on Merseyside. Everton are four points above the relegation zone having taken only nine points from their last 16 games and face a crucial away game at Newcastle on 8 February in what would be Lampard’s first Premier League game in charge.
Everton initially made a move for former manager Roberto Martínez after sacking Benítez but the Royal Belgian Football Association rejected their proposal for a job share in a World Cup year. Wayne Rooney also had his admirers on the Everton board but rejected the offer of an interview as he focuses on the considerable task of trying to keep Derby County in the Championship.