Former Newcastle United and Rangers midfielder Joey Barton has said that Everton will not be able to get either Rafael Benitez or Celtic boss Brendan Rodgers to replace Sam Allardyce as a result of their stints at Liverpool.
The Toffees have been reported to be seeking out a possible replacement for the former England boss just months after he put pen to paper on a deal which runs until 2019, with the Daily Star claiming that owner Farhad Moshiri is eyeing up a swoop for Arsene Wenger if the under-fire Frenchman leaves Arsenal.
Barton states that the style of play employed by Benitez and Rodgers, both firm favourites at their current clubs, could well suit Everton were they to move for either of the pair, but that their links with fierce Merseyside rivals Liverpool definitively puts an end to any possible move.
Speaking on Alan Brazil’s Sports Breakfast on talkSPORT(05/03, 06:00), he said: “If you watch Newcastle against Liverpool – I know they had to go and shut up shop.
“If he (Benitez) hadn’t been at Liverpool, you could probably see the argument for it. And you could say the same for Brendan Rodgers.
“On his CV you have to consider him, but I think the Everton-Liverpool rivalry would put pay to that.”
Benitez spent six years with the Reds, winning the FA Cup and Champions League, but is now a firm favourite on Tyneside after joining back in 2016.
Rodgers meanwhile was at Anfield for three years, finishing second in the Premier League in 2014, but failing to pick up any silverware, which was in stark contrast to his first season with Celtic, where he won three trophies during an unbeaten domestic campaign.
Football Insider verdict
Barton is right about both managers being unlikely candidates for the Everton job, but it will come down to more than just their links with Liverpool. Benitez does hold a great deal of respect for the Reds after his time there, and there is little chance he would risk damaging his links by moving to Goodison Park, but he is also adored by the Toon Army, which is likely one of the reasons he is still on Tyneside after a difficult time with Mike Ashley. Meanwhile Rodgers is working on his own project at Parkhead and is looking to prove himself in Europe after a stunning domestic campaign last season. Everton might tempt him, but without Continental football, he is likely to remain with the Hoops for now.
In other Everton news, the club are ready to pounce for a top flight powerhouse as a result of a mass exodus.