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Guardiola personally vouches for Everton manager candidate

Pep is very impressed by Paulo Fonseca’s work

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Manchester City v Shakhtar Donetsk - UEFA Champions League
Pep Guardiola with Paulo Fonseca
Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

If Everton make Paulo Fonseca their next manager, one of their rivals in the Premier League is not going to be pleased at all by the appointment.

Manchester City’s Pep Guardiola had warned about Shakhtar Donetsk ahead of their Champions League group stages opening game against the Ukrainians, and though the Citizens won 2-0, he was quite impressed.

“Before every game against Shakhtar, I have the same feeling.

“The first time we face them in the group stage, my [scouting] team went to see them and they came back saying, ‘Wow.’ They were really impressed. In Barcelona all the time it was, ‘Shakhtar, Ukraine, who cares which players play, nobody knows them.’

“I can assure you it was one of the best teams in terms of playing football. It was so tough for me. For Barcelona, Bayern, we had good results but it was tough. I have a lot of respect for them.”

Fonseca is in his second season in charge of Shakhtar, winning the Ukrainian treble last season after he signed a two-year-deal. Speaking in an interview with the Telegraph, he has indicated his interest in managing in the Premier League.

“All coaches want to go to England and I am one. I have this dream and I believe this can happen. I believe a lot this can happen. If it’s soon or not, I have this dream.

“I have a big, big passion about the game and the atmosphere in England is amazing. I hope one day to live it. It’s the biggest league in the world. For any coach, to work in England can be amazing. You have the best coaches and the best players.”

The 44-year-old speaks English very fluently and there wouldn’t be a language barrier if he were to take over at Goodison Park -

“I hope soon, but I don’t know when. I finish my contract with Shakhtar at the end of this season. They start to try to speak with me and we will see what happens. At this moment I am focussed on our league and the Champions League.

“We have a big fight here with Dynamo Kiev, but we won the league for the first time since Shakhtar left Donetsk. That was an amazing thing for the club and the fans.

“The goal this season is to win everything in Ukraine again and try to do well in the Champions League. Getting through the group stages would be a big, big, big thing. Everybody in the Ukraine would be very proud of this, not just people from Donetsk.”

The report goes on to say that Guardiola would be happy to give any club interested in the manager his seal of approval, which should be good enough for Everton.