Rafa Benitez set to become new Everton manager

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Rafa Benitez has agreed personal terms with Everton and is set to be confirmed as their new manager in the coming days.

Everton were left needing to find a new manager following Carlo Ancelotti’s surprise return to Real Madrid and turned to Benitez after talks with other candidates, including Nuno Espirito Santo, led to nothing.

Club owner Farhad Moshiri is keen to make a big splash with his next appointment, hoping to replace Ancelotti with somebody of an equally high profile, and many at Everton quickly set their sights on Benitez.

Despite some animosity from fans because of his time with Merseyside rivals Liverpool, Everton have pushed forward with their interest in Benitez and sources have confirmed to 90min that a deal is close to being finalised.

Talks are so advanced that a contract has already been formally written up and is now just missing Benitez’s signature, which is expected to come imminently.

Rafael BenitezRafael Benitez

Benitez is keen to return to the Premier League / Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Benitez, whose family still live in Wirral, has been looking to return to the Premier League for the past 12 months and is understood to be delighted at the prospect of taking up work in Liverpool once again.

However, Benitez’s desire to join Everton has not been shared by a number of supporters from both Merseyside rivals. The boss was less than complimentary of the Toffees during his time at Liverpool and has attracted criticism from both fanbases for his plans to join Everton.

That fan unrest spilled over to an ugly level on Monday when local police confirmed they were investigating a threatening banner left near Benitez’s family home.

Rafael BenitezRafael Benitez

Benitez has been targeted by fans / Henry Browne/Getty Images

Images emerged online of a banner reading ‘We know where you live. Don’t sign’, which ironically was left outside the wrong house but close enough to Benitez’s residence that police are confident he was the intended target.

Since leaving Liverpool, Benitez has apologised for his comments towards Everton, but a handful of supporters continue to voice their frustration towards his impending appointment.

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