Everton have confirmed the appointment of Duncan Ferguson as caretaker manager.
Ferguson oversaw training on Tuesday, with the club looking for a successor to Rafael Benitez after sacking the Spaniard on Sunday.
The Toffees confirmed in a statement that Ferguson would be in charge “for the club’s upcoming games”, starting with the visit of Aston Villa.
Ferguson will be supported in his caretaker role by John Ebbrell and Leighton Baines, along with goalkeeping coach Alan Kelly.
Former Scotland and Everton striker Ferguson is set for a second spell as caretaker boss, having taken charge of three games during December 2019 following the dismissal of manager Marco Silva.
It has been reported that Wayne Rooney – the former Everton forward currently managing Derby – and ex-Chelsea boss Frank Lampard are set to be interviewed for the full-time job, while Roma boss Jose Mourinho has also been linked with the role.
Everton added in Tuesday’s club statement: “An announcement on a permanent managerial appointment will be made in due course.”
Ferguson has been part of their coaching staff since 2014, and enjoyed a decent run in his previous caretaker stint, securing a victory over Chelsea as well as draws with Manchester United and Arsenal ahead of the appointment of Carlo Ancelotti.
Benitez, who replaced Ancelotti last summer, was axed after Saturday’s 2-1 loss at Norwich left Everton with only one win and nine defeats in 13 Premier League games.
They are 16th in the table, six points above the relegation zone with two games in hand over 18th-placed Norwich.
Their search for a replacement for Benitez has seen Roberto Martinez, the Belgium head coach who was in charge at Goodison Park from 2013-2016, in the running.
It has been suggested Everton were prepared to consider Martinez combining the two roles until at least the summer but it is not a solution on which Belgium have appeared to be keen.
The Merseyside outfit were believed to be ‘putting out feelers’ with a number of names to try to get an idea of potential interest and availability before drawing up a formal shortlist.
Everton academy product Rooney, who had two spells playing for the club either side of 13 seasons with Manchester United, has been in charge at Derby for just over a year.
The Rams’ battle for survival in the Championship this term after being deducted 21 points has seen them take 13 from the last 15 on offer – they are currently eight adrift of safety in 23rd place.
Lampard was Derby’s boss for the 2018-19 season, in which they were beaten play-off finalists, before taking charge at Chelsea in the summer that followed. He was sacked in January 2021 and has subsequently been out of work.
Everton are looking for a sixth permanent managerial appointment since owner Farhad Moshiri took over in 2016.