Everton are hoping to conclude a deal to hire Sam Allardyce as manager in time for Wednesday’s Premier League clash with West Ham United, sources have told ESPN FC.
Discussions between Everton and Allardyce’s representatives have taken place since Monday, with further talks planned on Tuesday, and sources have said there is a growing confidence within Goodison Park that the club’s six-week search for a replacement for the sacked Ronald Koeman is close to an end.
The talks come as sources told ESPN FC’s Peter O’Rourke that Shakhtar Donetsk boss Paulo Fonseca has turned down the Everton job to stay with the Ukrainian giants.
Allardyce, who had publicly ruled himself out of the Everton job earlier this month due to the Merseyside club’s desire to recruit Watford manager Marco Silva, is now ready to accept the challenge of steering Everton away from the threat of relegation, however, and could be in charge for the visit of David Moyes’s West Ham on Wednesday.
The 63-year-old has been out of work since resigning as Crystal Palace manager at the end of last season, with the former England boss claiming at the time that he had retired from management.
But after expressing an interest in the United States job following the departure of Bruce Arena in the wake of the country’s failure to qualify for the 2018 World Cup, Allardyce admitted he was open to a return to Premier League management after Koeman’s departure last month.
With Everton majority shareholder Farhad Moshiri favouring Silva, Allardyce insisted he would not pursue the chance to manage the club.
But Everton’s dismal run of form under caretaker-manager David Unsworth — they have suffered five defeats in seven games in all competitions — and their failure to prise Silva from Watford has forced Moshiri to accept the need to look elsewhere and turn to Allardyce.
Sources have told ESPN FC that Allardyce is keen to appoint former Leicester boss Craig Shakespeare, who worked under the 63-year-old during his brief spell as England manager, as his assistant at Everton.
Mark Ogden is a senior football writer for ESPN FC. Follow him @MarkOgden_