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Vitor Pereira has confirmed that he has been interviewed by Everton regarding the vacant managerial position and stated: “If they want me, they have to call me.”
Everton fired Rafael Benitez earlier in January, after a dismal 13 league games victory left them six points above the relegation zone.
That cushion has now been reduced to four points after Everton lost to Aston Villa on Saturday, with Duncan Ferguson taking over the temporary lead.
A host of names have been attached to the job, though all with vastly different profiles. Former Toffees boss Roberto Martinez, who was sacked in 2016, was a leading candidate, but the Belgian FA rejected Everton’s approach.
Fabio Cannavaro is also said to have been interviewed, as is Frank Lampard. Wayne Rooney, meanwhile, confirmed last Friday that Derby County administrators had not yet been contacted.
However, widespread reports on Monday claimed that Pereira was the preferred choice of owner Farhad Moshiri, whose operation of the club has been investigated by fans.
These reports were met with some outcry, with a picture spread via social media on Tuesday showing graffiti at Goodison Park reading: “Pereira out. Lampard in.”
19 – Under Rafael Benítez, Everton have conceded just 19 points in 19 Premier League matches, their lowest halfway point in a season since 2005-06 (17). The Toffees lost nine of their last 12 league games under the Spaniard. Stuck. pic.twitter.com/db3VHzM29j
– OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) January 16, 2022
With suggestions on Wednesday that Everton were still considering options, Pereira – who was sacked from another term in charge of Fenerbahce in December – made the somewhat surprising decision to speak to Sky Sports.
“The club asked me to come to a meeting. I had a couple of interviews, not just one, with different people on the club, the board. We discussed everything and I gave them my point of view about the club, the team,” Pereira explained.
“I think they were excited about what I suggested. An intense game, pressure, possession. We have to give confidence to the players, the team and the great supporters. That’s what I suggested to them. What I felt in the meetings , was that they were positive. ”
Asked if he had been informed about whether he would get the job, Pereira said: “They have other candidates and it’s time for decisions.
“None, [they have not told me]. Just to wait for the decision, rest assured and they are grateful for the interviews, that’s all.
“What I want to tell you is that all my career I’ve been working under pressure. About the decision? It’s something I can not control.
“I built my career with passion, organization, competence. That’s what I can offer the club. I give 100 percent of me, football for me is 24 hours. This is my life, my passion.
“I want to get on with my life. If they want me, they have to call me. That’s all.”
In response to the graffiti, Pereira said: “It’s the first time in my career that I see that kind of thing. My CV speaks for itself. The club is not in a good position and the fans have passion, this passion is the power of this club.
“[Critics] do not know me very well, they do not know my work, know me as a person. I worked in many countries, different clubs, different levels, got several titles.
“I do not see it as a personal attack.”
Pereira has won four league titles across periods in charge of Porto, Olympiacos and Shanghai SIPG.