Frank De Boer has emerged as the immediate favourite to succeed Roberto Martinez , after the Blues boss was finally put out of his misery.

The Spaniard’s trouble reign came to a close with the Everton board deciding they did not want him to suffer any more indignity at the hands of angry, protesting fans.

And it is Dutchman De Boer who was installed as the instant odds-on favourite to assume control at Goodison, after he announced he was stepping down as Ajax boss.

Southampton boss Ronald Koeman – who has performed near miracles at Southampton – will also be a strong candidate as the Everton board, led by chairman Bill Kenwright, and major shareholder Farhad Moshiri, turns its attention to finding a successor next week.

No talks have yet been held with any candidates, with Kenwright determined not to heap any more indignity on Martinez before he departure was resolved.

Jurgen Klinsmann and Manuel Pellegrini would also be on any short-list, but Martinez was axed yesterday, purely because the board realised the end had come for the manager and they didn’t want to extend his suffering further.

Fans had planned protests both at the proposed end of season players’ awards dinner, which was cancelled, and for the final game of the season at Goodison on Sunday.

David Unsworth is likely to take temporary charge for that game, against Norwich, after two humiliating defeats in the last four days sealed Martinez’s fate.

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