Everton keep Ferguson in place for Arsenal clash as Ancelotti appointment nears

The Italian is reportedly close to being appointed as the Toffees’ new boss, but the caretaker manager will be in the dugout against the Gunners

Everton have confirmed Duncan Ferguson will remain in charge for Saturday’s Premier League clash with Arsenal at Goodison Park, as Carlo Ancelotti’s appointment reportedly draws closer.

Ferguson has been in interim control since Marco Silva was dismissed on December 5 in the wake of a 5-2 hammering at the hands of Merseyside rivals Liverpool.

Fan favourite Ferguson led the Toffees to a 3-1 victory over Chelsea in his first match, before claiming a 1-1 draw against Manchester United at Old Trafford, though Everton exited the EFL Cup following a 4-2 penalty shootout defeat after a 2-2 draw with in-form Leicester City on Wednesday to provide the first negative result of the caretaker’s brief reign.

Ancelotti, who was sacked by Napoli on December 10, seems set to take over, with the ex-Real Madrid, Bayern Munich and Paris Saint-Germain coach presenting a real coup for struggling Everton should they secure his signature as expected.

However, while Ancelotti has reportedly agreed to a long-term contract, he will not be at the helm for Saturday’s meeting with Arsenal, who look set to have a new manager themselves for the fixture, with former Everton midfielder Mikel Arteta in line to replace the Gunners’ own interim head coach in Freddie Ljungberg, who has temporarily succeeded Unai Emery.

Ferguson will instead continue in the dugout, with Everton announcing the Scot will again be assisted by coaches John Ebbrell, Francis Jeffers and Alan Kelly.

Everton are 16th in the Premier League and are just three points clear of Southampton in the relegation zone, although they are also only four points behind the Gunners, who occupy a top-half spot. 

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Ancelotti’s first game in charge could come in the Toffees’ next fixture against Burnley at home – a kinder fixture to start with on paper. 

A trip to Newcastle United follows, but then Everton must navigate successive away games against defending champions Manchester City in the Premier League and another Merseyside derby at Anfield against champions-elect Liverpool in the third round of the FA Cup.

 





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