By Danny Wright

8th Nov, 2017 | 6:05am

'The next best thing' - Paul Merson makes bold claim about latest Everton manager link

By Danny Wright

Arsenal icon Paul Merson has boldly claimed that Everton have the ability to be able to lure Diego Simeone from Atletico Madrid to be their next manager as they are the “next big thing” outside the top Premier League clubs.

Sky Sports journalist Kaveh Solkhekol claimed on his personal Twitter account on Tuesday that Farhad Moshiri wanted Simeone to replace Ronald Koeman in the Goodison Park hotseat.

The Atletico boss is widely seen as one of the best managers in European football for the way he has been able to match the likes of Real Madrid and Barcelona in his time in Spain, most notably winning the 2013/14 La Liga title.

But Sky Sports pundit Merson believes that because the Premier League is the place to be right now, that should give Everton a huge boost in their chances of luring the Argentine to Merseyside while the top teams are not on the lookout for a new manager.

“This is where it has taken Simeone now. People are saying he might be a bit big for the club but he’s been around a long time, Atletico Madrid are not the team they were and they are falling behind a bit,” he said, as quoted on the Sky Sports website.

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“He’ll look at the Premier League and think ‘right, I’m not going to be manager of Liverpool, Man City or Arsenal, maybe Chelsea’ and all of a sudden, Everton are the next best thing. Even with where they are, they are the next biggest club with money and big wages, then he’s in the Premier League.

“Everybody wants to be in the Premier League now. Spanish teams are kicking off at 11.30am now to try and get the market, but we don’t have to in England. The Premier League is where everybody wants to be.”

Madrid-based reporter Dermot Corrigan claimed on his personal Twitter account later in the day on Tuesday that there was no chance that Simeone would be moving to Everton, which suggests that Moshiri should begin looking elsewhere to end their manager search.

In other Everton news, Tony Bellew has delivered a damning verdict on the Toffees’ search to replace Koeman.

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