Everton players were left sniggering behind the back of owner Farhad Moshiri after his meeting with them yesterday, Football Insider understands.

The billionaire businessman arrived at the club’s Finch Farm training headquarters early in the afternoon to sack Marco Silva face-to-face and address the first-team squad in what he hoped would be a rallying call.

An Everton training ground source has told Football Insider that the senior players were baffled by the intervention of Moshiri, who promised them anything they needed to improve their performances.

This was regarded as “patronising” and “just plain odd” by the players after Moshiri sacked his fourth manager in three-and-a-half years in charge of the Merseysiders.

Silva was popular with many of those he managed despite overseeing a wretched run which sees the team precariously placed at 18th in the Premier League table.

Everton legend and longstanding member of the backroom staff, Duncan Ferguson, is set to take charge for this weekend’s fixture against Chelsea but he is not in the running to land the job permanently.

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The club hierarchy have prepared a four-man shortlist that includes ex-boss David Moyes, Portugese Vitor Perreira and Napoli manager Carlo Ancelotti.

Moyes’ return is being championed by longstanding chairman Bill Kenwright, who regards him as capable of steadying the ship and lifting the team away from relegation danger.

Moshiri regards Moyes as a safe pair of hands, but has long been aware aware that a significant section of fans are not thrilled by the prospect of him heading back to Everton six years after he quit.

Everton are looking to make a swift appointment rather than leave the team in the hands of a caretaker for a lengthy period as they did with Under-23s manager David Unsworth two years ago following Ronald Koeman’s sacking.

In other Everton news, it can be REVEALED that Moshiri has made a U-turn over January transfer.