Everton close on Rafa Benitez as manager after third meeting and Moshiri promise

Rafa Benitez is confident he is about to become one of the most astonishing appointments in Everton history.

The man dubbed a legend by Liverpool fans has been told to ‘expect’ a formal contract from Goodison owner Farhad Moshiri within the next 24 hours, after a THIRD meeting over the vacant manager’s role.

If Moshiri does make Benitez his next manager, then he can expect a massive backlash from fans – who greeted news of the ‘imminent’ appointment with horror last night.

Supporters are openly hostile to Benitez, who called Everton “a small club”, and are predicting the owner would be ‘finished’ if he appointed the former Anfield boss.

But Nuno Espirito Santo found himself in exactly the same position with Moshiri, after talks at the end of last week culminated in the apparent offer of a deal.

Nothing materialised over the weekend though, despite several assurances to the contrary.

Benitez on the Goodison Park touchline could become a familiar sight

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And the Everton owner instead extended his search to include talks with other managers, with Benitez given a third meeting on Wednesday.

It is understood there were other candidates too, including Roberto Martinez, the former Toffees boss now working as Belgium manager, and Brighton boss Graham Potter.

If Moshiri does this time deliver a contract, then it would be the most controversial in Goodison history.

And it would raise the first serious questions about his ownership of the club, amongst fans who had previously been patient with his chequered series of appointments.

Ancelotti’s replacement will be the sixth manager in five years since Moshiri arrived as owner.

And fans would need a lot of convincing before they accept Benitez.

Benitez has returned to his home on Merseyside and wants the job – and will back his methods to quieten the outcry his appointment would inevitably prompt

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