Everton coy over new manager amid Ancelotti speculation

Everton insisted Monday they had yet to make a contract offer to a potential new manager after a report that Carlo Ancelotti had agreed "in principle" to take over at Goodison Park.

Sky Sports reported talks between the English Premier League club and the veteran Italian boss had "progressed well".

But a statement issued by Everton later Monday said: "In the 11 days since Marco Silva left the club, the Everton board has been working to recruit a new permanent manager –- and has held meetings with a number of candidates."

It added: "We can confirm that thus far no contract offer has been made and no candidate has chosen to withdraw from the process.

"While the club is keen to confirm a new permanent manager as soon as possible, the only important duty is that the right appointment is made."

Everton's statement added that "while our process continues", former striker Duncan Ferguson would remain as caretaker manager and be in charge for the Toffees' League Cup quarter-final against Leicester on Wednesday.

Ancelotti, 60, was himself dismissed as manager of Napoli last week despite taking the Italian club into the last 16 of the Champions League after they slipped to seventh in the Serie A table.

If he is appointed, it would mean Ancelotti was returning for a second spell in English football after a two-year stint at Chelsea from 2009-11 that yielded a Premier League and FA Cup 'double' for the London club in his first season in charge.

Ferguson took over after Silva was sacked on December 5 and promptly oversaw a morale-boosting 3-1 win over Chelsea before guiding Everton to a 1-1 draw away to Manchester United on Sunday.

The Scot, however, has distanced himself from taking the job on a full-time basis.

Everton are currently 16th in the 20-team Premier League, just three points above the relegation zone.

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