By North-west correspondent Alex Stevens

Michael Ball has urged Everton to appoint his former team-mate Frank De Boer as the club’s new manager.

The Dutchman reportedly held talks with the Merseyside club on Friday about replacing Roberto Martinez.

The Daily Mail claim negotiations took place between the former Ajax manager’s representative Guido Albers and Goodison officials just hours after Martinez was sacked.

The Spaniard was axed on Thursday afternoon following a season that failed to live up to expectations.

De Boer, 45, was installed as the odds-on favourite to be the new Everton manager in the immediate wake of Martinez’s dismissal.

Dutchman De Boer announced his departure from Ajax on Thursday morning after six years as the club’s manager.

He has made it clear that he is interested in succeeding Martinez, who held the post for three years after taking over from David Moyes.

And now former Blues defender Ball, who played with De Boer at Rangers, believes ex-Holland international De Boer would be a perfect fit in the Goodison dugout.

“Everton need to start aiming for the best managers available,” Ball told the Liverpool Echo. “That is what we want to see now and though Jose Mourinho has been mentioned, but we don’t know if he’s got an agreement with another club or not.

“I may be biased, being an ex-team-mate of his, and he is unproven in England but Frank De Boer is a winner. He knows what you need to win. He will be demanding of the players.

“He likes bringing the kids through the system and he would be a massive influence on the club’s young players but also on the senior ones as well.

“He will make it clear how he wants them to play and he has a proven track record having won four of the last six league titles in Holland.

“He is someone the fans can have a connection with.”

Ajax won the Eredivisie title in 2010–11, 2011–12, 2012–13, 2013–14 and Ball says De Boer sets his teams up in a typical Dutch way.

“There is a lot of emphasis on trust in each other,” Ball told the Echo. “He knows what it takes to win things and he wants good players to play the right way but if they are not doing the right things then he will be shouting them down, they won’t be getting away with it.”

Albers is likely to be a pivotal figure in Everton’s search for a new boss. He also represents Southampton manager Ronald Koeman, who has been strongly linked with replacing Martinez.

In other Everton news, Robbie Savage has identified the man who would be the ideal candidate to replace Martinez at Goodison Park.