The Everton hotseat is one of the top managerial jobs in the world, according to caretaker boss David Unsworth.
The under-21 manager will take charge of the Toffees for their final Premier League match of the season against Norwich on Sunday following the sacking of Roberto Martinez.
Unsworth has already thrown his hat into the ring while the likes of Southampton boss Ronald Koeman, former Ajax manager Frank De Boer and departing Manchester City chief Manuel Pellegrini have all been linked with the post.
Martinez paid the price for failing to get the best out of a very talented squad.
The players at the new manager’s disposal, coupled with funds injected by new investor Farhad Moshiri, should ensure there are no shortage of top-class candidates for the post.
Asked what qualities an Everton manager needed, Unsworth said: “You need to be a winner. You need to blend top international players with top under-21 players. It’s not rocket science.
“You need to come in, you need to hit the ground running, you need to have a relationship with the fans, you need to build a team and a squad that’s going to win, and then when you’re winning, you keep winning.
“It’s one of the top jobs in the world, and that’s not me with my biased Everton blue hat on, it is one of the top managerial jobs, especially now with our new investor.
“With the relationship that the new manager will have with our chairman, with the passionate fans that we have, it’s a top job for whoever gets it.”
Unsworth played more than 300 games for Everton in two spells and returned to the club in 2013 to work with the under-21s, later being promoted to manage the side.
He worked closely with Martinez, who was never afraid to give young players a chance, and it was the Spaniard to whom Unsworth spoke first after being placed in charge.
Martinez’s stock has undoubtedly taken a hit but Unsworth expects the former Wigan boss to be in demand.
“Obviously he was very disappointed,” said Unsworth. “I spoke to him on the phone, he was very, very disappointed that he couldn’t see out the job but understood the reasons behind it.
“The chairman was devastated as well. It’s not nice, it’s not easy when these things happen but it has happened.
“I saw Roberto (on Friday morning) and we had a big hug. He’s fine and he’ll go off and recharge his batteries, and I’m sure he’ll be in a top job very, very soon.”
The relationship between Martinez and Everton’s fans had been deteriorating all season and the Toffees’ hierarchy may well have felt they had no choice but to act to prevent a toxic atmosphere at Goodison Park on Sunday.
Everton have won only five matches at home in the Premier League all season, and Unsworth accepted that Martinez’s departure should make it a much more positive place.
“I think there’ll be a change of mood,” he said. “It’s not been an easy place to play recently.
“I think the Evertonians will turn out in force. I’m sure they’ll get behind us. We have to give them something to shout about. I said to the players that we owe them a performance and we owe them a win.”
Unsworth was keeping his cards close to his chest regarding what team he will pick but he confirmed Tim Howard will make a final appearance for the club in goal.
The American, who lost his place to Joel Robles earlier in the season, is heading home after 10 seasons with Everton.
Unsworth said: “It was something Roberto had promised him and something I said to Tim that I wanted to do. Tim will play and quite rightly so.
“He’s been a great servant and hopefully he’ll finish with a clean sheet, some wonder saves and a nice win.”