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Everton have sensationally begun talks with ex-Juventus boss Andrea Pirlo over their vacant manager position, according to reports in Italy.
Carlo Ancelotti stunned the Toffees when he decided to take up an offer to return to Real Madrid and replace his outgoing former assistant, Zinedine Zidane. That threw Everton's plans into disarray and left the Premier League side with a summer manager hunt they did not expect.
But the Merseyside club have now entered talks with legendary Italian midfielder Pirlo, according to Italian outlet Calcio Mercato, with a decision to be made in the coming days.
The 42-year-old Pirlo left Juventus after only one season in charge as the club failed to defend their Serie A crown, eventually finishing fourth and exiting the Champions League in the last-16 stage.
However Juve did win the Coppa Italia under Pirlo and their struggles during the campaign were not entirely down to the manager, as the Turin-based club's squad clearly needs refreshment.
With just a year as a first-team manager behind him and having no experience of the Premier League, Pirlo - while a high-profile appointment who might attract players - would also be a risky choice.
Naturally, he is not the only manager Everton's hierarchy are speaking to about the role. Nuno Espirito Santo is the current bookies' favourite, having walked away from Wolves at the end of last season.
A shock return for David Moyes to the club where he made his name has also been rumoured, although West Ham would undoubtedly put up a fight for a manager who led the club to sixth and European football last season.
Long-time Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe has been linked, as has ex-Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez and even current Rangers manager Steven Gerrard. Which seems a very long shot, for obvious reasons.
But it is an Italian coach almost 20 years younger than the outgoing Ancelotti that represents the most intriguing option. Pirlo has been clear that he wants a quick return to management with Serie A clubs Sassuolo and Verona also linked to the World Cup winner.
Would Everton be making a bold and exciting move in giving Pirlo a chance to build his style of football at Goodison? Or would the only 'style' the Italian bring be how good he looks in a suit as he walks out for each game?
Either way, Pirlo and Duncan Ferguson is definitely an odd-couple combination we want to see in the Premier League next season.
All imagery: PA Images
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