We understand that secret talks took place over the weekend, with representatives for the ex-Liverpool manager debating the finer details of a deal now expected to be confirmed in the coming days.
A reaction from fans last week – with thousands clearly voicing their anger at the potential nomination – seems to have dampened the enthusiasm of majority shareholder Farhad Moshiri and his supporters.
But that did not completely block discussions, and Camp Benitez remains confident that Everton’s hierarchy will confirm a contract after several positive encounters.
Moshiri was reportedly “nervous” about the reaction from Blues fans, with several banners placed outside Goodison Park sending uncompromising messages that the Spanish coach was not welcome.
But it seems like only a total fan revolt can’t stop a date that would prove to be extremely divisive at a club that has endured a catalog of problems since Moshiri arrived as the owner.
His successor to Carlo Ancelotti – who left Real Madrid after less than 18 months at the helm – will be his sixth in five years, and several of his appointments have been met with hostility by fans.
Will Rafa Benitez fit as Everton boss? Write your review below.
Sam Allardyce saw his contract paid off after less than six months because the fan base refused to accept him and the club’s football style.
Benitez elicited a similar response, but Moshiri has allies like influential club sponsor Alisher Usmanov, which has given him the confidence to continue talks with a manager who is still so closely associated with the Blues’ biggest rivals.