Former England manager is the leading contender for Everton job

David Unsworth

Former Leicester City boss Craig Shakespeare is set to re-join former colleague Sam Allardyce should the former Crystal Palace manager take on the vacant job at Everton.

Meanwhile, Everton have continued to struggle, with Unsworth winning one of his seven games in charge and seeing them thrashed 5-1 at home by Atalanta in the Europa League before Sunday's 4-1 hiding at Southampton.

Allardyce, 63, was an early candidate to succeed Ronald Koeman, who was sacked on 23 October, but withdrew after Everton delayed making an offer.

Ditto Everton with Allardyce, Crystal Palace with Hodgson or West Ham United with Moyes.

They could easily be another Leeds United, Nottingham Forest or Sheffield Wednesday - big clubs relegated from the Premier League and never seen again.

It has now been over a month since the dismissal of Ronald Koeman, and having given caretaker manager David Unsworth a fair shot at the job, it is clear that the Merseyside club are in desperate need of a spark and huge boost of confidence.

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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. Two back-to-back heavy defeats has led to majority shareholder Farhad Moshiri and chairman Bill Kenwright stepping up their search for a new manager.

"When confidence is low, it takes a bit of time to build that back up".

Everton chiefs are now reported to have conceded defeat in their attempts to bring in the Portuguese manager.

The fans might not be massively excited - and I don't mean that disrespectfully to Sam. And their pursuit of Watford boss Marco Silva has also ended unsuccessfully. "I think it's very important you help the club out in a hard time".

West Ham are ready to make a move for Krasnodar striker Fyodor Smolov, and, at the same time, according to the Liverpool Echo, Everton have been linked with a move for Besiktas playmaker Oguzhan Ozyakup, who was once dubbed "the new Zinedine Zidane".

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