Everton legend Wayne Rooney could return to the club as manager after two spells as a player and his links at Manchester United could give them a leg up in the transfer window. The England icon will be interviewed for the role of coach.
Rooney is one of the favourites to take the Everton job as he prepares to be interviewed for the role.
Benitez was sacked after a 2-1 defeat to Norwich at the weekend which has plunged the Toffees into a relegation battle.
Everton owner Farhad Moshiri has lost the trust of the fans after his gamble on hiring the ex-Liverpool boss backfired.
It means his next move must appease the supporters and hiring Rooney could be the ideal swoop to get them back on side.
If it is the current Derby boss, he will expect funds in the transfer window – and there are four players at his old club United who could help him out this window.
Donny van de Beek
The most likely arrival could be Van de Beek, who has been sidelined throughout his entire United career – first by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and now Ralf Rangnick.
The change of managers at Old Trafford has not improved his fortunes and a January exit appears to be the only solution.
Everton were keen on the midfielder in the summer and saw a deadline day switch fall through but Rooney’s arrival could indicate a change of opinion.
Whether there is a short-term agreement or one more permanent, Van de Beek cannot afford another season sitting on the bench and is in dire need of first-team football.
Another midfielder but a different profile to Van de Beek, Everton are desperate in need of some steel in the centre of the pitch.
While Matic might be on the wane at 33, his vital experience and defensive acumen could help bring some structure to a side that looked all over the place against Norwich.
The ex-Chelsea star’s future at Old Trafford has been speculated on for a few years now after losing his first-team spot to Scott McTominay and Fred.
With Rangnick also on the hunt for a new midfielder, that would indicate that he does not believe Matic is the solution and a transfer away beckons.
It was made clear to everyone that Martial was desperate to leave in January but as of yet there are no suitors while Sevilla had a loan bid turned down.
If staying in the Premier League is a priority, Everton could launch an audacious attempt to snap up the Frenchman – though his £250,000-a-week wages could be a problem.
Paying such a figure would be out of the question but if there is a compromise, Martial could revitalise his career under Rooney – who has been renowned for giving outcasted players some much-needed love.
While there are plenty of hurdles, signing the Frenchman could be the kind of marquee arrival that could lift the whole club.
Everton have had real problems with their defence this season and the likes of Michael Keane, Ben Godfrey and Mason Holgate have struggled at times.
One player looking to leave at United is Bailly, who feels promises have been broken after signing a new contract and is now eyeing an exit to find regular first-team football.
Selling the Ivorian could be a win win for all parties as United get a cash injection, Everton land a tenacious defender while Rooney brings in a player he knows all about having shared a dressing room with him at Old Trafford.
His injury troubles might put the Toffees off but there is plenty in the tank from the 27-year-old, who is fourth-choice at United now.