Sean Dyche is expected to be named as Everton’s new manager, succeeding the sacked Frank Lampard.
Dyche and former Leeds United manager Marcelo Bielsa were the two main contenders after holding talks with Everton’s hierarchy, reports the BBC.
Bielsa was initially understood to be the favoured choice of owner Farhad Moshiri but the former Burnley boss is now in pole position.
The Toffees want their new manager in place before the weekend.
Bielsa, 67, expressed reservations about taking over in mid-season and whether the squad would fit his high-intensity and physically demanding style.
There were also doubts over the expensive package his appointment would require.
Talks did not bring any resolution, leaving Dyche as the front-runner, although it remains to be seen what agreement will be reached on length of contract, with the 51-year-old unlikely to simply want a short-term deal.
Everton are next in action on February 4, when they host Premier League leaders Arsenal at Goodison Park.
Dyche also impressed Everton and the manager sacked by Burnley now looks certain to be given the task of rescuing their troubled season.
Lampard was dismissed with the Toffees lying 19th in the Premier League table with only 15 points from 20 games.
In a decade at Burnley, Dyche guided the Clarets to two promotions from the Championship and two top-half Premier League finishes.
Dyche also helped Burnley achieve their first European qualification in 51 years after leading them to seventh place in the top flight in 2017-18.
Moshiri will be making his seventh managerial appointment since buying into the club in February 2016.