Everton: Rafael Benitez and Nuno Espirito Santo in running for Toffees job

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Rafael Benitez (left) last worked in the Premier League as Newcastle United boss, while Nuno Espirito Santo’s spell as Wolves manager finished last month

Everton are continuing to explore candidates to succeed Carlo Ancelotti – with former Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez still under consideration, along with Nuno Espirito Santo.

Discussions are on-going with Everton owner Farhad Moshiri and the rest of the club’s hierarchy.

Benitez, however, remains in contention and has also held rounds of talks with Everton.

He could yet become the first man to manage both Merseyside clubs, following a six-year spell at Liverpool in which he won the Champions League and the FA Cup.

Everton are determined not to rush any appointment and while Nuno remains a strong contender after talks that started shortly after Ancelotti’s departure for Real Madrid, the club are determined to cast their net wide before making a final choice.

Benitez’s appointment would be contentious as many Everton fans were angered when Benitez described them as a “small club” following a drawn Merseyside derby.

The Spaniard, who still lives in the area, is understood to be keen on the challenge of reviving Everton and believes his methods would win over sceptical supporters.

He received a hostile reception when he was appointed interim manager at Chelsea in November 2012 following their intense rivalry with Liverpool, but ended up taking them to third place in the Premier League and winning the Europa League.

Benitez last managed in the Premier League at Newcastle United, where he was a hugely popular figure with fans, before moving to China for a spell at Dalian Professional.

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