Southampton boss Ronald Koeman has emerged as a major contender to fellow Dutchman Frank De Boer in the betting to be next Everton manager.
Koeman is now just 2/1 to succeed Roberto Martinez at Goodison Park as a flash flood of cash drives him ever closer to the favourite spot, currently occupied by recently-jobless De Boer, who punters are able to back at even-money at present.
Why Southampton’s manager would be willing to sacrifice his cushy gig with a team scaling a steady upward trajectory towards the Champions League places to make what could at best be considered the sideways step to Everton isn’t immediately clear, but the Toffees’ interest in the coveted coach is easy to fathom.
CPR expert Koeman is the master resuscitator.
He took over at St Mary’s for the 2014/15 campaign following a summer of upheaval on the south coast. Indeed, the Saints were being acknowledged as an outside bet for relegation that season in light of Liverpool prying away a swathe of stars who’d played so well for Mauricio Pochettino in 2013/14, who in turn departed for Tottenham Hotspur.
His Dutch successor not only rebuilt the team, but picked up four more points than Pochettino managed and finished a place higher, a feat rendered extra impressive by the fact it wasn’t the first time Koeman pulled off such a stunt.
He took the reins at Feyenoord ahead of the 2011/12 campaign, with De Stadionclub’s expectations at their lowest for some time having finished tenth the season prior.
Following a spectacular rejuvenation, they came second in his first term, just six points adrift of champions Ajax and repeated the effort in his third and final year, though this time they fell just four points short of De Godenzonen.
Ajax are, of course, another of the clubs Koeman has managed. He was parachuted in midway through the 2001/02 season with the Amsterdam Arena outfit trailing pacesetters Feyenoord by two points. They ended up winning the Eredivisie by five points, having wedged a deficit of nine between themselves and their nemesis from De Kuip.
After two disappointing seasons under Martinez, Everton are in dire need of Koeman’s defibrillator-like paws to clamber back into the Premier League’s upper echelons, but it’s unlikely they’ve got the gravitas to lure him.