LONDON (REUTERS) - Everton said on Monday (Dec 16) they had not yet offered any candidate a contract to become their new manager after British media reports that Carlo Ancelotti was set to take over the struggling team.
Sky Sports had earlier reported that Everton had reached an agreement in principle for Ancelotti to fill the vacant post at Goodison Park following the sacking of Portuguese Marco Silva.
The Italian, who has won three Champions League titles in a garlanded career, left Napoli this month after a high-profile falling out with chairman Aurelio di Laurentis.
Everton are 16th in the standings, three points above the relegation zone, having sacked Silva after a humiliating 5-2 defeat at neighbours Liverpool on Dec 4.
"In the 11 days since Marco Silva left the club, the Everton Board has been working to recruit a new permanent manager - and has held meetings with a number of candidates," the Merseyside club said in a statement on their website.
"We can confirm that thus far no contract offer has been made and no candidate has chosen to withdraw from the process.
"While the club is keen to confirm a new permanent manager as soon as possible, the only important duty is that the right appointment is made."
Should the 60-year-old Ancelotti finalise a deal with Everton it would be a significant coup for the club given his coaching CV, which includes trophy-laden spells at AC Milan, Chelsea, Paris Saint-Germain, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich.
The club's former striker Duncan Ferguson has been appointed interim boss, securing a 3-1 win over Chelsea and a 1-1 draw at Manchester United, and Everton said he would be in charge for Wednesday's League Cup quarter-final at home to Leicester City.
Former Everton boss David Moyes was linked to the post after Shanghai's Victor Pereira ruled himself out last week.