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Everton getting close to signing Portuguese manager

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Blues in advanced negotiations with Shakhtar’s Paulo Fonseca

Feyenoord v Shakhtar Donetsk - UEFA Champions League Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

There have been two independent confirmations that Shakhtar Donetsk manager Paulo Fonseca is in advanced talks with Everton to join the Blues as their next permanent manager.

Portuguese daily O Jogo claims that the 44-year-old manager is close to signing with the Blues. There is no release clause for the manager with the Ukrainian side, and he is in the second year of his two-season contract so the Blues would have to pay the club remainder of this season’s deal.

The manager has previously spoken about working in the Premier League -

"All coaches want to work in England and so do I, I have this dream and I believe it can happen, whether or not it will be soon, I do not know, but it's a dream. and we are going to see what will happen.

“At this moment I am just focused on the work. We want to win again to win everything in Ukraine and be well in the Champions League.”

Another not-very-reliable source reporting the news is Italian Gianluca Di Marzio, who claims that the only hold-up in the negotiations is with Shakhtar who want the manager to stay on past December 6th when they take on Manchester City in the Champions League.

Under Fonseca, Shakhtar have played an up-tempo attacking style that has seen them climb up to second in their Champions League group behind Manchester City, but ahead of Napoli. His 4-2-3-1 formation sees the two holding midfielders supporting the defence, with the two fullbacks pushing forward to create width in attack. Here is Shakhtar’s lineup from a recent game against Feyenoord.

Shakhtar Donetsk Player Positions
WhoScored.com

According to other sources in Portugal, Fonseca was among the candidates Everton considered to replace Roberto Martinez in 2016 before appointing Ronald Koeman, which explains the Toffees’ familiarity with him.