Everton: Sam Allardyce close to being appointed manager

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Everton need players with 'bottle' - Unsworth

Everton are moving closer to appointing Sam Allardyce as their new manager as talks continue to progress positively.

That is despite reports in Portugal suggesting Everton interest in Shakhtar Donetsk coach Paulo Fonseca.

Everton caretaker manager David Unsworth is expected to take charge of Wednesday night's Premier League home meeting with West Ham United.

But the club may even be in a position to confirm Allardyce as Ronald Koeman's successor before that game.

Koeman was sacked by Everton on 23 October after the club slipped to 18th in the Premier League following a 5-2 home defeat by Arsenal.

Allardyce, 63, withdrew from contention to take over from Koeman after failing to receive an offer following talks earlier in November.

However, a run of only one win in seven games under Unsworth, including a 5-1 home defeat to Atalanta and a 4-1 loss at Southampton on Sunday, prompted Everton to resume negotiations with Allardyce over the weekend.

Talks are expected to centre on the length of Allardyce's contract and his backroom staff, which looks likely to include former Leicester City manager Craig Shakespeare, who was sacked by The Foxes earlier this season.

Allardyce may even take the bold step of appointing former Liverpool midfield man Sammy Lee as one of his assistants.

Lee worked with Allardyce when he was at Bolton Wanderers, Crystal Palace and England.

It would be, however, a contentious decision and sure to raise eyebrows among Everton fans given Lee's strong association with Liverpool as a player through their 1980s successes, and also as a previous long-serving member of the Anfield backroom staff.

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