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Friday’s Football Focus

An Everton ‘source’ has put the cat amongst the pigeons by telling Sky Sports that there are three names on Bill Kenwright’s list to be the next Goodison manager – and one of them is the previously unconsidered Ralf Rangnick.

Who he? Well, he might not be very well known on these shores, but the 54-year-old Rangnick is a vastly experienced and well respected coach of some 30 years standing in Germany, Just two years ago he led Schalke 04 to the semi-finals of the Champions League, but resigned later in the year due to “exhaustion.” And the word is he impressed the Everton hierarchy immensely when interviewed last week.

Roberto Martinez, however, is still hot favourite to take over from David Moyes, although not as big odds-on as he was. Coral have eased the former Wigan boss to 4/9 from yesterday’s 2-7.

Rangnick is the 8/1 third favourite behind Neil Lennon at 6/1, but Vitor Pereira (10/1), Malky Mackay (12/1) and Alan Stubbs (16/1) are still in the mix as the identity of the third name on Kenwright’s list remains a mystery.

Everything should be revealed after the weekend and the end games are also in sight at Wigan and Wolves.

Steve McLaren has hardened from 3/1 to 6/4 favourite to take over at Wigan, while it is understood that Kenny Jackett is now on the verge of taking over at Wolves.

The big news in Spain is that Jupp Heynckes, not Carlo Ancelotti, will be unveiled as the new manager of Real Madrid following Jose Mourinho’s departure.

Heynckes takes charge of his final match at Bayern Munich tomorrow when the Bundesliga and European champions bid to make it a treble in the German Cup Final against Stuttgart.

But rather than announce his retirement straight after the game, as has widely been anticipated, talk is that he will instead return to Real Madrid, where he won the Champions League back in 1998.

The rumours are so strong that Coral have promoted the 68-year-old to 4/7 to take over the Bernabeu with the apparent ‘certainty’ Ancelotti now a 5/4 chance.

Real Madrid are also busy with their drip-drip charm offensives. This time the objects of their affections are Gareth Bale and Luis Suarez. The players and their agents are making all the right noises and insisting they will remain faithful to their current clubs while under contract. But how long will they resist? In Suarez’s case, not long at all – it’s odds-on he will be wearing the all white of Madrid rather than the all red of Liverpool come the start of the new season.

Written by Jon Freeman