Real Madrid want to reappoint Carlo Ancelotti as manager after making the Everton boss their No 1 choice to replace Zinedine Zidane.
Ancelotti previously coached Real between 2013 and 2015, and led the club to victory in the 2014 Champions League final against rivals Atletico Madrid.
He also guided Real to Copa del Rey, UEFA Super Cup and Club World Cup glory that year, but was sacked in 2015 after ending the season without a major trophy.
However, the Spanish giants are keen for Ancelotti to return following the resignation of Zidane – who was himself in his second spell as the club’s manager – last week.
The former Real player quit his post after seeing his side fail to win a trophy last season. Zidane said on Monday he chose to leave because the club “no longer has the faith in me I need”.
Following his departure from the Bernabeu, Ancelotti went on to coach Bayern Munich and Napoli before joining Everton in December 2019.
He steadied the ship at Goodison Park after replacing Marco Silva mid-season, and then oversaw the Toffees’ push for European qualification this campaign.
However, Everton’s season was undermined by their consistently poor home form – they won just six matches in their own stadium in the Premier League – which ultimately saw them finish 10th.
Ancelotti has been linked with a return to Real for several weeks, but earlier this month he dismissed those reports as “not true”.
“This is good publicity for me to be linked with Real Madrid but it is not true,” he said. “I am really happy to stay here.
“We have difficulties of course, but I feel good at Everton and my target is to make Everton better and better every year.”
The transfer window opens on June 9 but after seeing early promise fizzle out, what do Everton need to do this summer?
Which positions are Everton targeting?
Everton will be looking to provide more cover for Dominic Calvert-Lewin this summer following the limited impact of Josh King after his January move from Bournemouth.
The club will make a decision on the future of forward Moise Kean, whose successful loan spell at Paris Saint-Germain was agreed without an option to buy.
The Merseysiders are keen to prolong goalkeeper Robin Olsen’s stay with his own loan agreement from Roma at an end. The Sweden international deputised well for Jordan Pickford when called upon this season.
Carlo Ancelotti has also targeted a successor for club captain Seamus Coleman since last summer, with Norwich right-back Max Aarons on their shortlist and available for around £30m.
Theo Walcott has made a permanent switch to Southampton but Everton will also likely offload Yannick Bolasie this summer to make way for another attacking wide player to provide competition across the forward line.