EXCLUSIVE By Pete O’Rourke
Paulo Fonseca has turned down the vacant manager’s job at Everton job to stay at Shakhtar Donetsk, Football Insider sources understand.
Fonseca emerged as the shock front-runner to finally succeed Ronald Koeman at Goodison Park after Everton’s hunt for a new manager dragged on for more than five weeks.
Sources close to the Portuguese have told Football Insider that Fonseca was offered the Everton job but has rejected it to stay in Ukraine with Shakhtar.
Fonseca, who has just over six months to run on his current deal, has impressed at Shakhtar since taking charge of the Ukrainian club in May 2016, boasting an impressive record of 56 wins in 73 games.
Fonseca is regarded as one of the best young managers in Europe after enjoying success in Portugal with lowly Pacos Ferreira and Braga before taking the Shakhtar job, where he won the league title in his debut campaign and has taken the club to verge of the Champions League knockout stages.
His snub means Everton will turn to former England manager Sam Allardyce to finally fill their managerial void.
Negotiations with Allardyce’s representatives will continue in the next 24 hours and he could be appointed as early as tomorrow night (Wednesday).
David Unsworth has been in caretaker charge since Koeman’s dismissal, but his chances of landing the job on a permanent basis have disappeared after overseeing just one win, one draw and five defeats in his seven games in charge.
Unsworth admitted earlier on Tuesday that Everton’s board were in talks with a number of candidates about taking the job and sources have told Football Insider that Fonseca impressed the Toffees hierarchy after holding talks with him.
Fonseca was among the candidates Everton considered to replace Roberto Martinez in 2016 before the appointment of Koeman and they were prepared to offer him the chance to take charge at Goodison Park as they look to avoid a relegation dogfight this season.