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Everton will hold a decisive round of talks with Vitor Pereira and Frank Lampard as they close in appointing their next boss.

Caretaker head coach Duncan Ferguson will also be interviewed one last time for the vacancy as the Toffees aim to wrap up their search for Rafa Benitez’s replacement within the next 48 hours.

MailOnline reported on Thursday that Lampard had emerged as a lead candidate for the position and would hold further discussions with Everton about the vacancy.

Everton are to hold a final round of talks with Vitor Pereira (pictured) and Frank Lampard

Everton are to hold a final round of talks with Vitor Pereira (pictured) and Frank Lampard

Sportsmail reported this morning that Everton would hold further discussions with Lampard

Sportsmail reported this morning that Everton would hold further discussions with Lampard

Everton are to hold a final round of talks with Vitor Pereira (left) and Frank Lampard (right) 

Those discussions are scheduled for Friday and if they go positively the Chelsea legend could find himself in pole position ahead of Pereira.

Former Porto boss Pereira was owner Farhad Moshiri’s No 1 choice to replace Benitez at the start of the week, the former Porto boss arriving in England to effectively seal his appointment.

However, protests from supporters have put Pereira’s job hopes in jeopardy. Sportsmail spoke to Pereira on Wednesday in which he said that he was saddened by the backlash against the club’s plans to name him as head coach – sentiments he later confirmed in an extraordinary interview with Sky Sports News.

Indeed, the resentment even pushed Pereira into considering withdrawing from the race altogether.

And on Thursday night, as the 52-year-old prepared for another round of discussions for a job he looked virtually certain of being offered as late as Tuesday evening, there remained misgivings from figures close to the coach about how the process has panned out.

Nevertheless, Pereira, who first met Moshiri on a yacht in Monaco last week, remains in the contention despite what has been a turbulent week for the Portuguese and he will be given one more opportunity to impress Everton.

Bill Kenwright and owner Farhad Moshiri (right) are still searching for a new manager

Bill Kenwright and owner Farhad Moshiri (right) are still searching for a new manager

Bill Kenwright and owner Farhad Moshiri (right) are still searching for a new manager

Protests from fans against his appointment has put Pereira’s job hopes in jeopardy

Protests from fans against his appointment has put Pereira’s job hopes in jeopardy

Protests from fans against his appointment has put Pereira’s job hopes in jeopardy 

But the reality remains that having arrived in London on Monday expecting to be appointed, Pereira now faces the prospect of being in England for close to a week but not becoming Everton’s new manager – a scenario that is likely to frustrate the ex-Olympiacos boss.

And even if he is appointed Everton’s new manager, he is likely to face a battle to win over supporters who have protested so vociferously against him – a reality that won’t be lost on Pereira.

Ferguson, who is currently in caretake charge, will also meet Everton owner Moshiri and other board members.

The Scot, who is popular among the players, wants the opportunity to replace Benitez and will have an opportunity to impress the hierarchy.

It is understood Everton are still to request permission from Derby to speak to Wayne Rooney.

Supporters also held signs aloft saying 'sack the board' after Saturday's Goodison Park loss

Supporters also held signs aloft saying 'sack the board' after Saturday's Goodison Park loss

Supporters also held signs aloft saying ‘sack the board’ after Saturday’s Goodison Park loss

Source: DailyMail Sports

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