Everton are on the verge of appointing Sean Dyche as manager after the last-ditch effort to convince Marcelo Bielsa to replace Frank Lampard fell through.
Majority shareholder Farhad Moshiri last night tried to persuade ex-Leeds United coach Bielsa to take the Goodison post. But with Bielsa unwilling to take over midway through the season, Moshiri will now hold further talks with Dyche.
Telegraph Sport understands that Bielsa preferred to take on the role in the summer, opening the door to the possibility of Moshiri renewing his efforts to secure the Argentine if Dyche proves to be a short-term appointment.
The ex-Burnley coach has already made a strong impression in previous talks with the Everton hierarchy and confirmation of his appointment is now expected in the next 24 hours.
Although clearly Moshiri’s second-choice, Dyche – out of work since leaving Burnley towards the end of last season – has a chance to save Everton from relegation.
Dyche’s enthusiasm for the role – in stark contrast to Bielsa expressing reservations from the start – should be enough to convince Moshiri that he is fit for the club’s emergency situation.
Initially, Dyche’s appointment is likely to be viewed as a short-term measure in the hope that he can lead the team out of the drop zone. However, if he impresses, it could pave the way for a long-term relationship.
Comparisons will be made with Everton appointing Sam Allardyce midway through the 2017-18 season. Allardyce was not the first choice as Moshiri wanted Marco Silva, still at Watford at the time.
Ex-England manager Allardyce was unpopular with Everton fans, but he led the side to a comfortable eighth position.
Moshiri still had to replace him that summer, by which time Silva was available.
Dyche will know about history, but his personality is not as divided as Allardyce, who was unpalatable on Gwladys Street from day one.
If the 51-year-old sees a similar level of improvement as five years ago under Allardyce, it is highly unlikely that his services would be so easily abolished.
Moshiri must also reckon with the possibility that his next appointment will have to lead the club out of the Championship if they fail to escape the bottom three.
Dyche won promotion to the Premier League, although the obvious immediate priority is to keep Everton’s Premier League status.
The new manager couldn’t have had a tougher start as Everton face Premier League leaders Arsenal next weekend and then travel to Anfield for the Merseyside derby.