By Wayne Veysey

23rd Jun, 2021 | 7:33am

Sources: Usmanov tells Moshiri to appoint Benitez as new Everton manager

Alisher Usmanov has given the go-ahead for Everton to appoint Rafael Benitez as their new manager, Football Insider understands.

The Merseysiders were all ready to hand the vacant job to the Spaniard, 61, last Thursday before a fans’ backlash.

An industry source told Football Insider that Benitez was ready to walk away from the deal after getting cold feet and amid fears he was not wanted at Everton.

But the Everton powerbrokers led by Uzbek billionaire Usmanov are pushing for Benitez.

Terms were agreed last Wednesday night following extensive talks between the club’s hierarchy and the former Liverpool manager.

Usmanov is not a shareholder at Everton but a number of his companies are sponsors of the club, including USM and MegaFon.

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He is said to be the ‘boss’ of Goodison owner Farhad Moshiri and the club’s ultimate decision-maker, although Everton have previously denied that.

The oligarch’s net worth is reported by Forbes to be in excess of £13billion and he was a major stakeholder in Arsenal until selling his shares in 2018.

Football finance expert Kieran Maguire told this site in April that he believes Usmanov could one day formalise his investment in Everton.

In January 2020 he financed a £30million naming rights deal for Everton’s new stadium currently under construction at the site of Bramley-Moore Dock.

Everton have been without a manager since Carlo Ancelotti’s shock return to Real Madrid on 1 June.

Benitez, who was most recently employed at Chinese Super League outfit Dalian Professional, won three major trophies with Liverpool between 2004 and 2010.

He has also managed Chelsea and Newcastle United in the Premier League in a career that has taken in spells with Valencia, Real Madrid and Inter Milan among others.

In other news, Everton told to sign lifelong Liverpool fan after key update.