Vitor Pereira has withdrawn from the running to become new Everton manager.
The Portuguese was rumoured to be a leading contender to succeed Marco Silva at Goodison Park.
Reports earlier this week suggested the Toffees had even held talks with the 51-year-old, who is currently manager of Chinese Super League side Shanghai SIPG. However, the Portuguese has now withdrawn from the race.
Speaking to Sky Sports News, Pereira said:
“It’s always an honour and I am utterly grateful to be considered on a list by a club that I have so much respect for.
“At this point I am still the coach of SIPG a club close to my heart in a country that is growing immensely in football .
“At this moment I am not in a position to make any other commitments.
“I need time to think and plan my future by looking at all the options I have.
“It’s a league I love and yes for sure I would love to consider an opportunity in the future.”
News of Everton’s interest in Pereira drew a mixed response from the supporters given his patchy track record as a manager, taking in spells at the likes of Al-Ahli, Olympiacos and Fenerbahce.
Reports that Shanghai SIPG were keen to tie him down to a new contract also raises suspicions. Were Everton being used to force them into offering him new, improved terms? The eye-watering new deal amount mentioned yesterday of £25million would have turned anyone’s head.
Either way, with Pereira out of the running attention will now turn to the other contenders.
At time of writing former boss David Moyes is the bookies’ favourite to make a controversial return to Goodison Park.
Former Arsenal boss Unai Emery is also believed to be in contention.
The Athletic reports that Emery met with Farhad Moshiri and Bill Kenwright in London last week to discuss the vacancy.
The report goes on to state that Emery is minded to take a break from football following his chastening experience at Emirates Stadium, but may be persuaded to move to Everton given the club’s size and ambition.