Frank Lampard agrees two-and-a-half-year deal to become Everton manager

Lampard returns to management a year after Chelsea exit

Frank Lampard has agreed a two-and-a-half-year contract to become Everton's new manager and has immediately set about bolstering the playing resources at Goodison Park with the impending capture of Dutch midfielder Donny van de Beek on a season-long loan deal from Manchester United.

Lampard's appointment as successor to Rafael Benítez, who was sacked on January 16th after a defeat by Norwich City, comes about after final interviews were held on Friday with three candidates: Lampard, Vítor Pereira and the club's caretaker manager, Duncan Ferguson.

The former Chelsea and Derby manager was offered the job after impressing Everton's majority shareholder, Farhad Moshiri, in his interview.

Lampard has been out of management since he was sacked by Chelsea just over a year ago. The 43-year-old’s immediate priority will be to steer the club to Premier League safety; they are currently 16th in the table, four points above the relegation zone. The new manager’s first match in charge will be the FA Cup fourth-round tie at home to Brentford next Saturday, with his first league game away at Newcastle on February 8th.

He will expect to be able to call upon Van de Beek for the Newcastle game – he is cup-tied for Brentford's visit – after Everton agreed to pay the player's full salary until the end of the season after he was identified by Lampard as a priority target, with Everton short in midfield due to injuries to Abdoulaye Doucouré, Tom Davies and Fabian Delph.

The Netherlands international, who has had limited game time at United under both Ole Gunnar Solskjær and Ralf Rangnick, was also wanted by Patrick Vieira at Crystal Palace, who began their pursuit some days earlier, and he appeared ready to switch to Selhurst Park, with Palace offering to pay 85 per cent of his salary. But Van de Beek has ultimately decided he wants to play on Merseyside rather than in south London.

There is no buy option included in the deal, with Van de Beek's agent, Hasan Cetinkaya, in London to finalise the contract.

Lampard’s appointment comes at the end of a turbulent week following last Saturday’s home defeat to Aston Villa under Ferguson. Pereira emerged as the majority shareholder Moshiri’s preferred choice on Tuesday, prompting a hostile reaction from Everton fans.

That led the Portuguese to take the unusual step of pitching for the job and defending his record in a live TV interview the following day. On Friday Wayne Rooney said he had turned down the offer of an interview, preferring to stay at Derby.

Lampard's backroom staff at Everton will include Joe Edwards from Chelsea and former Chelsea and Derby coach Chris Jones. A position has also been offered to Paul Clement, who assisted Carlo Ancelotti when he was manager at Stamford Bridge. Lampard also wanted Republic of Ireland assistant Anthony Barry to join him from Chelsea but he decided to stay put. – Guardian

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