Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich “recommends Rafa Benitez to Everton board after being impressed by the Spaniard in 2012”
EVERTON is getting closer to appointing Rafa Benitez as next manager after Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich is said to have given his seal of approval.
Benitez, 61, was appointed interim Chelsea boss in November 2012 until the end of the season following the sacking of Roberto Di Matteo.
He then guided the west London club to a third place in the Premier League table.
The Blues also lifted the Europa League trophy for the first time in their history after beating Benfica 2-1 in the final.
And according to The independent, Abramovich was sufficiently impressed with Benitez’s work that he recommended it to Alisher Usmanov, a confidant and longtime business partner of Everton owner Farhad Moshiri.
The Toffees have been on the hunt for a new head coach since Carlo Ancelotti’s shock departure earlier this month.
The 62-year-old Italian stunned fans as he left the club and returned to Real Madrid for a second stint with the Spanish giants.
But now Benitez is expected to be named Everton’s new boss Monday at the latest.
SunSport has revealed that Russian oligarch Usmanov has growing influence behind the scenes at Goodison even though his close friend Moshiri is the majority owner.
It was he who pushed for Benitez to be recruited – despite opposition from large sections of Everton support.
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Not only because Benitez was the manager of Liverpool, but also because he called the Toffees a ‘little club’.
President Bill Kenwright has reportedly been adamant against the arrival of the Spaniard.
But Usmanov, who partnered with Moshiri in a 30% stake in Arsenal before the two were sold, persuaded the British Iranian that Benitez, who still has a home in Merseyside, is the right fit for him. post.
The former Liverpool and Chelsea boss has already been linked with the arrival of a number of new players at Goodison Park.
These include former West Brom and Newcastle striker Salomon Rondon, PSV winger Denzel Dumfries, Juventus defender Merih Demiral and Barcelona goalkeeper Neto.
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