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Leading candidate emerges as Everton look to replace sacked Frank Lampard

Frank Lampard was sacked by Everton on Monday after a woeful run of form

Frank Lampard: Needs a 'project' after three difficult jobs. Photo: Matthew Childs/Action Images via Reuters© Action Images via Reuters

Sports deskSunday World

Everton’s hunt for a manager took a dramatic turn on Monday evening as it emerged they have targeted former Leeds boss Marcelo Bielsa as their leading target.

Frank Lampard was sacked by Everton on Monday after a woeful run of form, with a defeat at West Ham on Saturday proving to be his final match in charge.

News of Lampard’s fate was widely reported from mid-afternoon on Monday but was not officially announced by the club until after 8pm.

A statement read: “Everton Football Club can confirm that Frank Lampard has left his post as senior men’s first-team manager today.

“Everyone at Everton would like to thank Frank and his coaching staff for their service during what has been a challenging 12 months.”

Lampard leaves Goodison Park with the club 19th in the Premier League after a run of nine defeats in 12 games. He won just nine and lost 21 of his 38 Premier League matches and his sacking comes eight days before the first anniversary of his appointment.

The statement added: “Frank and his team’s commitment and dedication have been exemplary throughout their time at the club, but recent results and the current league position meant this difficult decision had to be taken. We wish Frank and all his backroom team well for their future in the game.

“The club has started the process to secure a new manager and will provide updates on the appointment in due course.”

Everton brought in former Chelsea and Derby boss Lampard as successor to Rafael Benitez, who had lasted just 200 days in the post. His departure means the Toffees are now looking for their eighth permanent manager since owner Farhad Moshiri took over the club in February 2016.

Moshiri offered public backing to Lampard as recently as January 13, but hugely damaging defeats to fellow strugglers Southampton and West Ham have forced a change.

Everton have scored just 15 goals in 20 Premier League games this term and have only managed to find the net more than once in a game twice.

With a first relegation since 1951 looming large, Lampard’s exit adds to the current turmoil surrounding the club.

Former Burnley boss Sean Dyche was widely expected to be the leading contender to take over from Lampard.

Yet the vastly experienced Bielsa appears to be the man they want, with his appointment likely to be viewed as a gamble as his open and attacking brand of football ultimately cost him his job at Leeds in February 2022.

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