Frank Lampard, Vítor Pereira and Duncan Ferguson will have their chance to land the Everton manager's job on Friday when the club conduct a final round of interviews with the candidates to succeed Rafael Benítez.
Farhad Moshiri, Everton's majority shareholder, is expected to travel from his home in Monaco to hold the interviews in London alongside members of the board. The intention is to arrive quickly at a decision, albeit 12 days after Benítez was sacked, in order to strengthen the new manager's squad before Monday's transfer deadline.
Lampard and Pereira have been interviewed several times by the Everton hierarchy since Benítez's departure and have impressed. Ferguson, in his second spell as caretaker-manager, will also be interviewed for the permanent role. Despite Wayne Rooney having his admirers at Goodison Park the Derby manager will not be interviewed.
Lampard, out of work since being sacked by Chelsea 12 months ago, appeared to have the edge over Pereira after a hostile reaction from fans to the Portuguese coach emerging as Moshiri's preferred choice on Tuesday.
The former Porto and Fenerbahce manager took the unusual step of pitching for the job and defending his record in a live television interview on Wednesday, but he remains in the running and no final decision will be made until after Friday's interviews.
Everton's plan to finalise an appointment and move in the transfer market rests on the erratic Moshiri, however. The billionaire has had a late change of heart over several managerial appointments in the past, including David Moyes and Nuno Espírito Santo, but there is a pressing need for Everton to act swiftly with the club at risk of relegation.
Benítez had wanted a central midfielder this month and that position requires reinforcing with Abdoulaye Doucouré sidelined for at least four weeks with a groin injury. His fellow midfielders Fabian Delph and Tom Davies are also out injured until March.