By Kieran Maguire

27th Jun, 2021 | 7:00pm

This 'incredibly generous' figure has Moshiri's ear amid Everton manager hunt - Kieran Maguire

Alisher Usmanov “has the ear” of Everton owner Farhad Moshiri amid the club’s search for a new manager.

That is according to finance guru and Football Insider columnist Kieran Maguire, speaking exclusively after this site revealed Usmanov’s stance on 23rd June.

The industrial magnate is championing Rafael Benitez for the vacant position at Goodison Park and the latest news this evening from an Everton source is the deal is “99 per cent done”.

Usmanov is not formally involved in Everton’s executive branch but has strong links through sponsorship arrangements.

He is also said to be the ‘boss’ of owner Moshiri and the club’s ultimate decision-maker, though Everton themselves have denied this.

Former Liverpool boss Benitez has, as revealed by this site on 25th June, told friends he will take the job despite advice to wait for Newcastle instead.

Subscribe to Football Insider TV now

And Maguire suggests that Usmanov does indeed communicate with Moshiri over “key decisions.”

“I would say that Usmanov has the ear of Moshiri,” he told Football Insider correspondent Adam Williams.

“He has also been incredibly generous as a commercial backer of Everton, there’s no doubt about that.

“His working relationship with Everton and Moshiri is historically very good too.

“On the basis of that, I think that they do communicate on a regular basis about key decisions at Goodison.”

The latest in the Toffees’ manager hunt is that Marcel Brands is also backing Benitez for the job, as revealed by this site on 25th June.

The director of football is understood to be the Spaniard’s one key supporter in the boardroom.

In other news, pundit tells Everton to green light James Rodriguez exit if “he’s not willing to play.”