CARLO ANCELOTTI has arrived on Merseyside to hold talks with Everton as they prepare to replace Marco Silva.
The ex-Chelsea boss was linked with North London rivals Arsenal, and Gunners legend Emmanuel Petit warned letting the Italian join the Toffees would be a huge mistake.
But Emirates chiefs turned to former player Mikel Arteta after holding talks with the Manchester City No 2 at his mansion in the early hours of this morning.
Everton made Ancelotti – who was sacked as Napoli boss this month after a bust-up with president Aurelio Di Laurentiis – their prime target to take over at Goodison.
It comes after interim manager Duncan Ferguson ruled himself out of the permanent job.
Sky Sports News report the Italian is already on his way to meet with Everton chiefs.
Ferguson took charge of his second game on Sunday as the Toffees took a point away from Manchester United.
The former Everton striker also guided them to a home win against Chelsea – and is set to remain on the coaching staff if Ancelotti is hired.
Ferguson will manage his third game on Wednesday as they play Leicester in the Carabao Cup quarter-final.
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The stand-in manager revealed would hold talks with club directors – but urged them to bring in the best replacement with the most expeirence.
Ferguson said: “It’s buying them a bit of time to get the right man in. With a couple of results, they can make the process more diligent.
“We need the best manager in the world and I’ve not got the experience. I’m all for us bringing in a top manager and if I can be part of it then great.”