With Neymar's future far from certain, Paris Saint-Germain are reportedly planning for life without the star forward.

Neymar appears to covet a Barcelona reunion, after leaving the LaLiga champions two years ago.

Should Neymar's wish be granted, an African sensation lighting up Anfield is said to be on the agenda.

 

TOP STORY – NEYMAR OUT, MANE IN

Ligue 1 champions Paris Saint-Germain want Liverpool star Sadio Mane to replace Neymar, report France Football and Mundo Deportivo.

PSG star Neymar wanted to leave Paris during the previous transfer window, but a proposed return to Barcelona did not materialise.

Doubts remain over Neymar – who left Barca for PSG in a €222million transfer in 2017 – and the French powerhouse are said to have identified Mane should the Brazilian depart the capital.

 

ROUND-UP

- According to Calciomercato, Napoli have agreed a deal for former Milan boss Gennaro Gattuso to replace head coach Carlo Ancelotti. It comes with Ancelotti on the brink amid a nine-match winless streak ahead of Tuesday's crucial Champions League clash against Genk.

Manchester City are set to rival Chelsea for Bournemouth's Nathan Ake, says Sky Sports. Chelsea want to bring Ake back to Stamford Bridge following his exit in 2017. However, Premier League champions City are reportedly interested amid their defensive woes.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic has been offered an 18-month contract by Napoli, reports Gazzetta dello Sport. The 38-year-old is a free agent after leaving MLS outfit LA Galaxy and he has been linked to Milan and Inter.

- Sport claims Inter want to sign either Ivan Rakitic or Arturo Vidal from Barcelona in January. Antonio Conte is determined to bolster his squad as Inter challenge for Scudetto honours and juggle Champions League commitments. Rakitic has also been linked to Serie A holders Juventus.

Everton hope to have Vitor Pereira installed as manager for Sunday's Premier League fixture at Manchester United, according to Sky Sports. After sacking Marco Silva, the Toffees are ready to offer the Shanghai SIPG coach a three-year deal. It comes as Sky Sports also reports former Arsenal boss Unai Emery was approached about the Everton job.

- The Mirror says Manchester United are ready to show their faith in manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer by backing him in moves for Atletico Madrid midfielder Saul Niguez and Salzburg sensation Erling Haaland. The spotlight was on Solskjaer following a poor run of form and Mauricio Pochettino's Tottenham exit. However, the Norwegian has overseen consecutive victories over Tottenham and Manchester City.

Bayern Munich and Manchester City are monitoring the progress of Rangers teenager Kai Kennedy, says the Daily Record.

Rafael Benitez says he would like to go back to the Premier League in the future but insists there is "no chance" of an imminent return.

The Spaniard left Newcastle United following the expiry of his contract at the end of June before joining Chinese Super League club Dalian Yifang – a move Magpies managing director, Lee Charnley, said was motivated by money.

Everton and Arsenal are in the market for new managers after recently sacking Marco Silva and Unai Emery respectively, while West Ham boss Manuel Pellegrini is under intense pressure.

Benitez says he remains open to a return to the English top flight but has no intention of leaving China just yet.

"Obviously in the future I would like to come back to the Premier League, but at the moment I must be very clear, there is no chance I will come back now," he told Sky Sports' Monday Night Football.

"I am happy, really pleased, they trust me, we have a lot of staff working on a big project.

"We want to leave a legacy, it's a challenge for me, and I'm learning a lot, it's a great experience, and I'm quite happy at the moment."

Benitez enjoyed a successful spell in charge of Liverpool between 2004 and 2010, guiding them to Champions League success in 2005, before leading Chelsea to the Europa League as caretaker boss in 2013.

Erling Haaland is sought after across Europe and it seems Juventus have made the first move.

Haaland, 19, has already scored 28 goals in 21 games for Salzburg this season, including eight in the Champions League.

The Norway forward is attracting interest from the world's biggest clubs and Juventus are not prepared to wait around.

 

TOP STORY – JUVENTUS OFFER HAALAND €3M PER SEASON

Juventus have offered Haaland €3million per season, according to Corriere dello Sport.

Haaland has been linked to the likes of Manchester United, Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund among others.

Juve may be looking to add some youth to their attack, with Cristiano Ronaldo (34) and Gonzalo Higuain (31) in their 30s and Mario Mandzukic (33) out of favour.

ROUND-UP

- Arsenal are still looking for a replacement for Unai Emery. Former Bayern Munich coach Niko Kovac wants the job, according to Goal, while the Daily Express reports there is a tug of war between the Premier League club and Manchester City over Mikel Arteta, who is an assistant at the Etihad Stadium.

- A 1-1 draw at Udinese on Saturday left Napoli winless in nine matches, further increasing the pressure on coach Carlo Ancelotti. CalcioMercato reports a lack of good options to replace Ancelotti have bought the Italian more time, but Napoli must beat Genk in the Champions League on Tuesday.

- At Everton, Shanghai SIPG coach Vitor Pereira is the favourite to be named Marco Silva's successor, according to the Daily Mail. David Moyes and Eddie Howe are reportedly the other leading candidates.

- Chris Smalling has impressed while on loan at Roma. Now, Inter and Juventus have joined Roma in wanting to sign the defender permanently from Manchester United, according to Sport Witness.

- Seemingly no longer in Chelsea's plans, Pedro could be set to leave Stamford Bridge. The Daily Mail reports Aston Villa are ready to offer the Spanish forward a way out of the club.

- Inter are interested in Parma midfielder Dejan Kulusevski, who is on loan from Atalanta, according to CalcioMercato.

Everton have confirmed they are investigating alleged homophobic chants reported during Saturday's 3-1 Premier League win over Chelsea.

Everton say they and equality and inclusion organisation Kick It Out received reports that chants were heard during the match at Goodison Park.

The Toffees confirmed the alleged chants in question were directed at Chelsea supporters by a small group of home fans.

A statement issued by the club on Sunday read: "Everton is working in conjunction with Kick It Out and has commenced an investigation into homophobic chanting reported during Saturday's Premier League game against Chelsea.

"Both the club and Kick It Out have received reports of a homophobic chant being aimed at Chelsea's fans by a small section of the home crowd.

"Homophobia has no place within our stadium, our club, our community or our game. The club strongly condemns such behaviour and is carrying out a thorough investigation which will include liaison with Merseyside Police."

Frank Lampard is not yet thinking about freshening up his squad in January despite a chastening 3-1 defeat at Everton on Saturday.

Everton were led by caretaker manager Duncan Ferguson for the first time, with the Scot taking the reins from Marco Silva following his dismissal two days ago.

The former Everton striker inspired the Toffees to get back to winning ways, with Richarlison opening the scoring and Dominic Calvert-Lewin getting a brace either side of Mateo Kovacic's strike.

Chelsea's performance, particularly defensively, laid bare some of the issues in their squad, with centre-backs Kurt Zouma and Andreas Christensen particularly poor.

But, following Chelsea's transfer ban coming to an end on Friday after a successful appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) against apparent breaches, Lampard does not feel purchases are needed yet, even though the Blues have lost three of their past four in the Premier League.

"Not yet," Lampard told reporters when asked if he now thinks a January refresh is required.

"Work [is required]," he continued. "We had it nice, we were winning games. This is the Premier League. We went to [Manchester] City, played pretty well, lost the game.

"But then the two games since then are signs of where we need to get better. We have played two teams who have been having a tough time and we have allowed the games to go away from us for different reasons and they will be big lessons for us."

Defeat means Chelsea could finish the weekend just three points ahead of fifth-placed Wolves, if they beat Brighton and Hove Albion away on Sunday.

Everton caretaker manager Duncan Ferguson reiterated that he is not planning to put himself in contention for the permanent position despite a 3-1 win over Chelsea on Saturday.

Ferguson, a popular former Everton player, was placed in temporary charge of the team following Marco Silva's dismissal in the wake of their 5-2 midweek Merseyside derby defeat against Liverpool.

The Scot made an impressive impact, with Everton sharper and snappier than they had been under Silva - evidenced by their 37 tackles, more than any other team in a Premier League match this season.

Richarlison got the opening goal in the fifth minute, before Dominic Calvert-Lewin netted either side of Mateo Kovacic's first league strike for Chelsea.

But Ferguson remains realistic about his status, adamant he will not be putting forward his case to club decision-makers despite lifting Everton out of the bottom three.

When asked if he would be sending a message to majority shareholder Farhad Moshiri and director of football Marcel Brands staking his claim for the job, Ferguson told BT Sport: "No, honestly, I won't be saying that. That's not what I'm saying.

"I'm here for Everton, I'm here for as long as they want me here, and I'm sure they [the club's hierarchy] are out there looking for their candidates, and rightly so.

"We want the best guys in the world managing this football club, but this was an incredible experience for me, an unbelievable experience I'll never forget.

"I'm just looking to get home and lie down, I think. We're not looking ahead - I was just looking at this game and that is it, we're savouring the moment. It's three fantastic points.

"I think you saw on the touchline how enthusiastic I was, but you know it's one game, one result. I think I've answered the question [about going for the position]."

Frank Lampard, Ferguson's opposite number on Saturday, was left fuming with Chelsea's defensive frailties, convinced all three "terrible" goals were gifts.

"We always knew they were going to have a go and they've got good players, they're just in a slightly false position for whatever reason," he said.

"I'm more worried about us. It wasn't good enough from us, conceding three terrible goals from our point of view.

"We know Richarlison is good in the air on crosses and the last thing you want is to go one down early here, then they can be organised and make things very difficult for you.

"We got in their box so many times and [were] not getting shots away, trying to walk it in at times, so [there were] lots of things I wasn't happy with."

Duncan Ferguson made an instant impact as Everton's caretaker manager following the sacking of Marco Silva, guiding them to a 3-1 win over Chelsea and lifting them out of the bottom three.

Silva was sacked on Thursday in the wake of a 5-2 hammering in the Merseyside derby but Ferguson's first game at the helm proved there is life in the Toffees yet, with Chelsea losing for the third time in four Premier League matches.

Richarlison got Ferguson's interim reign off to a flying start when heading in after only five minutes, with the Brazilian netting for the third successive Premier League match.

Dominic Calvert-Lewin capitalised on defensive haplessness to make it 2-0 early in the second half and, although Mateo Kovacic's first league goal for Chelsea offered the visitors encouragement, Everton managed to seal the points late on – their English forward getting a second.

Having found themselves 2-0 down after 17 minutes on Wednesday, the improvement in Everton's start against Chelsea was marked, taking an early lead when Richarlison met Djibril Sidibe's cross with a header the once famously dominant Ferguson would have been proud of.

Calvert-Lewin should have doubled hosts' lead in the 16th minute, but his feeble shot after being released by Theo Walcott was straight at Kepa Arrizabalaga.

Chelsea steadily improved and Tammy Abraham saw a flick from Willian's delivery flash right across the face of goal, but that was as close as they came before half-time.

Everton began the second half with renewed purpose and quickly increased their lead – Calvert-Lewin converting after Kurt Zouma's poor clearance dropped in the box and ricocheted off the Frenchman and Andreas Christensen.

Chelsea swiftly pulled one back through Kovacic, whose controlled volley from 30 yards beat the unsighted Jordan Pickford to find the bottom-left corner.

That paved the way for Chelsea to pile men forward towards the end, but Everton wrapped up the win six minutes from time, Calvert-Lewin prodding through Kepa's legs after the keeper had initially given the ball away under no pressure.

 

What does it mean? Chelsea looking over their shoulder

Friday's news of Chelsea's transfer ban being halved seemingly could not have been timed any better. If there is one thing made abundantly clear by Saturday's defeat, it is a lack of quality at centre-back.

As a result of Frank Lampard's men being so poor at the back, they could finish the weekend only three points clear of fifth-placed Wolves in they win at Brighton and Hove Albion on Sunday.

Chelsea's centre-back frailties laid bare

All three of Everton goals came as a result of Chelsea's centre-backs failing to do their jobs properly. Neither Christensen nor Kurt Zouma picked up the run of Richarlison for his opener, while the latter's dreadful clearance proved critical for Calvert-Lewin's first strike. His second came after a myriad of blunders, starting with Kepa. 

Sidibe shows his class

Both of Everton's full-backs impressed on Saturday, but Sidibe was particularly effective at both ends. On top of his seven tackles, three clearances and four interceptions, the Frenchman also laid on three chances and set up Richarlison's opener.

What's next?

Everton have another tricky contest on the horizon as they go to Manchester United a week on Sunday. Chelsea host Lille in the Champions League on Tuesday, aiming to secure their progression to the knockout phase, before returning to Premier League action at home to Bournemouth next Saturday.

World Cup winner Olivier Giroud was left out of Chelsea's matchday squad to face Everton on Saturday.

The Blues were unchanged for the clash at Goodison Park but France international Giroud, an unused substitute against Aston Villa in midweek having started the previous game against West Ham, was not among the replacements.

Giroud's place on the bench went to Ross Barkley, who has recovered from illness and could feature against his former club.

With Chelsea now able to sign players in January after their transfer ban was halved on Friday, Giroud appears to be heading closer to the exit door.

Duncan Ferguson, appointed as Everton's caretaker manager following the sacking of Marco Silva on Thursday, made two changes to the Toffees' starting XI as Theo Walcott and Morgan Schneiderlin came in.

Yerry Mina, who picked up a hamstring injury in the 5-2 Merseyside derby loss to Liverpool, and Tom Davies both dropped out of the team.

Frank Lampard welcomed the opportunity to mould his squad after Chelsea's transfer ban was halved but kept his counsel when asked about potential targets.

The Blues saw a two-window ban imposed by FIFA as punishment for breaching rules relating to the international transfer and registration of players under the age of 18 shortened by the Court of Arbitration for Sport on Friday.

Head coach Lampard can consequently sign players in January, though he has yet to properly discuss his strategy with the club's hierarchy.

"It is what it is and now we know," Lampard said at a news conference ahead of Saturday's trip to Everton. "Obviously the club was working towards that positive outcome and it allows us the potential to look at the market going forward.

"I'm pleased from a football level, it was never my job to get involved with reasons why or legal reasons, for the club moving forward it's a good thing. Now it's a discussion we can take up.

"Nothing much [has been said] because it wasn't something to discuss at length until we knew the decision. The club has been working away, putting forward our case, I've been working hard for the results on the pitch."

The ban did little to shelve rumours for potential incomings at Stamford Bridge. Borussia Dortmund winger Jadon Sancho, Crystal Palace forward Wilfried Zaha and Leicester City full-back Ben Chilwell have all been rumoured targets.

Lampard, expectedly so, was not willing to engage in conversation about potential incomings, though.

"I'm not going to sit here and go too far down any lines with that," he added.

"We will see where we are, as I said I'm happy with the squad we have here, I think we're doing okay. In terms of the bigger picture and what we do it's constantly fluid."

The ability to bring in players may also pave the way for the departure of out-of-favour striker Olivier Giroud, who is keen to play games to keep his place in France's squad ahead of Euro 2020.

But Lampard said the news does not change his thoughts on his striking options.

"It doesn't [change anything], I don't consider it at all. I just consider the squad I've got now. In January we can discuss those options," Lampard said when asked about Giroud, whose contract expires at the end of the season.

Lampard has earned plaudits for blooding several of Chelsea's young stars this term, with Tammy Abraham, Mason Mount and Fikayo Tomori among those to have grasped their opportunities.

The former England international says the fact he can sign players does not necessarily change his mindset, though he conceded entering the market poses a new challenge for his fledging Chelsea coaching career.

"Again we haven't had that conversation because we couldn't buy. The fact people have given us credit is because they expected less of us," he said.

"I still want more, I think we could have more points and be higher up the table. If we feel there are positions we can strengthen we'll do that. 

"That's why people expected less of us, because those around us were spending £100million and we didn't have that. We lost Eden Hazard and two number nines, it's important going forward that we get it right.

"It is a challenge yeah, I suppose the one thing I felt affected me in the summer is when you come into a club, sometimes the players you bring in, the attributes they have, are key to what you want to do. I couldn't do that.

"Moving forward I will put that to the club. It's a much bigger process, it's not just me getting it right or wrong. Any recommendations I make to improve the squad will be ones I see as improving us."

Liverpool cruised to a 5-2 victory in the Merseyside derby against Everton as they consolidated their lead at the top of the Premier League, despite a much-changed team.

Meanwhile, Tottenham head coach Jose Mourinho endured an unhappy return to Old Trafford as his side lost 2-1 to Manchester United - the Portuguese has not won there as a visiting boss in his past five attempts.

Defending champions Manchester City thrashed Burnley 4-1 as Pep Guardiola made it eight wins in his nine games against the Clarets.

A midweek round of Premier League fixtures brought a range of milestones and telling stats, the best of which are below.

KLOPP ECLIPSES SHANKLY, PAISLEY AND DALGLISH 

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp will likely need to deliver the Premier League title to secure his place in the pantheon of Anfield greats.

However, the German has put down a few markers suggesting he is ready to join the Kop's hall of fame by becoming the fastest Liverpool manager to 100 league victories. Klopp completed the feat in 159 games – quicker than Bill Shankly, Bob Paisley and Kenny Dalglish.

Liverpool secured the win over Everton thanks to a brace from Divock Origi, and one goal apiece for Sadio Mane, Xherdan Shaqiri and Georginio Wijnaldum.

They are now unbeaten in their past 32 Premier League games which is their longest run without defeat in top-flight history.

Marco Silva's final match at the helm saw him become the first Everton manager to concede five league goals against Liverpool in a single match since Howard Kendall in November 1982.

 

MORE OF THE SAME FOR MOURINHO 

United's 2-1 win over Tottenham, secured courtesy of two goals from Marcus Rashford – taking his tally to nine in 10 games – made Mourinho's return to his old club a miserable one.

Mourinho has won none of his past five away Premier League matches against the Red Devils (D3 L2), failing to beat four different managers in that time – Alex Ferguson, David Moyes, Louis van Gaal and current United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

It was also Tottenham 35th Premier League defeat against United – more than they have suffered against any other team. 

Spurs' defence must also be a concern for Mourinho. They have conceded twice in their four matches in all competitions under the Portuguese – they only had a run of conceding two or more goals in four consecutive games once under Mauricio Pochettino, doing so in February and March 2015.

Midfielder Dele Alli has started to rediscover some of his old form, though, and his equaliser for Spurs was his third goal in as many appearances for the club in all competitions – the first time since March 2017 he has enjoyed such a purple patch.

 

CITY THREE AND EASY UNDER PEP

Gabriel Jesus' brace and one apiece for midfielders Rodri and Riyad Mahrez gave City some much-needed confidence with a 4-1 thrashing of Burnley – although they remain 11 points behind leaders Liverpool.

Jesus is now the third highest-scoring Brazilian player in Premier League history (32 goals), trailing only Philippe Coutinho (41) and Roberto Firmino (52).

It was the 36th time City have won a Premier League game by three or more goals under Guardiola – the most of any team in the competition since the start of the 2016-17 season.

David Silva's creative skills remain key for City and he took his tally to six assists from open play in the league this season – just one fewer than he managed in 33 games last season.

Burnley have now conceded 11 goals in their three home games against 'big six' opposition in the Premier League this season, compared to only two goals in five home games against the rest.

 

LJUNGBERG'S LOSS A DROUGHT-BREAKING BOOST FOR BRIGHTON

Managerless, beaten at home by Brighton and Hove Albion and now nine games without victory in all competitions – Gunners fans have every right to be gloomy.

Arsenal's 2-1 loss to the Seagulls made this their longest winless streak since a run of 10 between February and March of 1977.

Mesut Ozil registered his first assist in the league since February when his corner was met by Alexandre Lacazette, but the French forward's 25th English top-flight goal at Emirates Stadium failed to avert a first defeat for interim boss Freddie Ljungberg.

Adam Webster had opened the scoring before the interval and Brighton were able to celebrate their first Premier League away win over 'big six' opposition following Neal Maupay's 80th-minute header.

Arsenal, booed off at full-time, have faced 52 shots on target in home league games this season, four more than in the entire Invincibles campaign of 2003-04.

Christian Eriksen is back on Manchester United's transfer radar.

The Red Devils are said to be preparing a January bid for the Tottenham midfielder, whose contract expires at the end of the season.

Eriksen reportedly turned down a move to Old Trafford earlier this year.

 

TOP STORY – UNITED REIGNITE ERIKSEN INTEREST

Could Jose Mourinho unintentionally do his old employers another favour?

Tottenham lost to United in midweek and are now about to receive an offer for playmaker Eriksen from their Premier League rivals, reports The Mirror.

The Denmark international has not featured in the starting XI since Mourinho replaced Mauricio Pochettino and, though he prefers a move abroad, might have a decision to make when the transfer window reopens.

Seemingly not convinced by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side a few months ago, Eriksen can sign a pre-contract agreement with clubs overseas from January.

ROUND-UP

- Leicester City are set to hand in-demand manager Brendan Rodgers a bumper new deal in a bid to end interest from Arsenal, according to The Telegraph.

- David Moyes wants a long-term commitment from Everton before agreeing to a second stint in charge at Goodison Park, says The Sun.

- Contrary to recent reports, ESPN suggests Patrick Vieira is not at the top of Arsenal's shortlist of potential managers.

- Error-riddled Roberto's ill-fated period as a Premier League goalkeeper could soon be over. The Guardian reports West Ham will look to sell or loan the Spaniard in January, with Turkey a likely destination, as they pursue stronger competition for the injured Lukasz Fabianski.

- Serie A side  Milan have offered Zlatan Ibrahimovic a contract that could run for 18 months and will demand an answer from his agent Mino Raiola next week, claims CalcioMercato.

- Diego Simeone wants Atletico Madrid to prioritise signing a striker over Brazilian midfielder Bruno Guimaraes, according to AS. The Spanish newspaper links Krzysztof Piatek, Andrea Belotti of Torino, Chelsea centre-forward Olivier Giroud and Valencia's Rodrigo with moves to the Wanda Metropolitano.

- Staying with Atletico and the Rojiblancos have entered the race for rumoured Juventus, Inter and Borussia Dortmund target Sandro Tonali, says CalcioMercato. Tonali, 19, is in his third season in Brescia's first-team squad.

Richarlison has thanked Marco Silva after struggling Everton made the decision to sack their under-pressure manager on Thursday.

After a humiliating 5-2 defeat to Merseyside rivals and Premier League leaders Liverpool left Everton in the bottom three, Silva was relieved of his duties, bringing an end to an 18-month stint in charge.

Richarlison – who played under Silva at Watford – arrived as the Portuguese's first signing in 2018, and has been a consistent performer at Goodison Park, scoring 21 goals in all competitions for Everton, while also establishing himself as a regular in the Brazil team.

The 22-year-old, who has previously referred to the former Hull City coach as a father figure, signed a new long-term deal with Everton this week, and ultimately scored what proved to be the final goal of Silva's tenure – having netted the first two in a 2-2 draw at Wolves on the opening day of last season.

"Thanks for everything, teacher! Especially for the care and attention that made me grow and become better in every way," Richarlison tweeted.

"I will never forget everything you did for me. I'll always be in the crowd!"

Everton great Kevin Ratcliffe has questioned why the club did not follow the sacking of manager Marco Silva by immediately appointing a permanent successor.

Silva's 18-month spell in charge at Goodison Park came to an end on Thursday, with the former Watford coach sacked following a dismal start to the season.

The club sit in 18th after 15 matches, with a 5-2 thrashing at the hands of Premier League leaders Liverpool in the Merseyside derby on Wednesday proving the final straw as Everton acted to offload Silva.

Everton said fan favourite Duncan Ferguson – who has been a first-team coach at the club since 2014 – would take charge for Saturday's match against Chelsea.

However, Ratcliffe was bemused by Everton not having a new full-time manager in place to come in and begin work.

"I'm quite surprised, with the way results have been going, that they haven't had somebody to come in straight away," Ratcliffe, Everton's last league title-winning captain in 1986-87, told Sky Sports News.

"A bit like Tottenham when [Mauricio] Pochettino left and [Jose] Mourinho came in for him.

"They've had time to assess it and maybe approach somebody and that hasn't been done obviously because they haven't made a decision, or if they have got somebody that they have got in mind there's a stumbling block along the way somewhere."

David Moyes, who managed Everton between 2002 and 2013 before leaving to replace Alex Ferguson at Manchester United, is the favourite to replace Silva.

Although Ratcliffe acknowledged his former club must face the reality of a potential relegation scrap, he would have liked to see them be in a position to attract the world's top managers.

"I think that's the situation we're actually in now. I think we need somebody to come in who knows something about the club to get us out of this mire really, because we are hovering in a relegation battle," he said.

"If they've got aspirations of being in the top six, they've got to try and get the best that's out there and they're not even linked with them.

"I know it's hard really to entice somebody in the position – you've got no European football – but at least you should be trying to get the best manager that's out there.

"I've always said Pochettino and [Atletico Madrid coach Diego] Simeone. But they won't come. I don't think the position that we're in, that it's an attraction to them.

"But I'd like to see our names linked with them or we've actually talked to them to see what it would take to get them, but that doesn't seem to be the case."

Everton have sacked manager Marco Silva in the wake of their Merseyside derby loss to Liverpool on Wednesday.

The Toffees dropped into the Premier League relegation zone after suffering a 5-2 defeat to their neighbours at Anfield.

The club announced the sacking of Silva on Thursday, ending the Portuguese tactician's 18-month stay at Goodison Park.

Owner Farhad Moshiri travelled to Liverpool to be at the club on Thursday, an indication that Silva's time was up.

In a statement, Everton said: "Everton Football Club can confirm that manager Marco Silva has left the club.

"Majority shareholder Farhad Moshiri, chairman Bill Kenwright and the board of directors would like to thank Marco for his service over the last 18 months and wish him well for the future.

"Duncan Ferguson has taken temporary charge of the first team and will manage the side for the game against Chelsea on Saturday.

"The club aims to confirm a new permanent manager as swiftly as possible."

Everton sit 18th in the table with 14 points from 15 games, having won just four of those fixtures.

Silva becomes the fifth manager sacked in the Premier League this season after Javi Gracia and Quique Sanchez Flores at Watford, Mauricio Pochettino at Tottenham and Unai Emery at Arsenal.

The former Watford, Hull and Sporting CP boss was appointed in May 2018, leading Everton to an eighth-placed finish last season.

However, their struggles in the first half of 2019-20 have led to the club making a change despite the tight nature of the Premier League table.

Although they are in the relegation zone, Everton are just six points behind eighth-placed Tottenham.

Former Everton manager David Moyes has been strongly tipped to rejoin the club as Silva's replacement, although former striker and club favourite Ferguson takes the reins in the short term.

Tony Cottee, another ex-Everton striker, said the exit of Silva was inevitable.

He wrote on Twitter: "It had to happen & I wish #MarcoSilva well in a future job, but I’m hoping the next appointment very much takes the club forward."

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