By Andrew Atkinson

Everton have sacked manager Madrid born Rafael Benitez after being appointed in June as Carlo Ancelotti’s successor at Goodison Park.

Everton lost 2-1 to Norwich City on Saturday, amid winning one of their last 13 Premier League games.

Everton are now searching for a replacement with the club 16th in the table, six points above the relegation zone.

The club held an emergency board meeting on Saturday to discuss Benitez’s future following the defeat at Carrow Road, which was a ninth loss in the club’s past 12 league games.

Everton are now searching for their seventh permanent manager since the departure of David Moyes in 2013.

Derby County boss and former Everton striker Wayne Rooney and Brighton manager Graham Potter are mooted as possible replacements for outgoing Spaniard Benitez, 61, formerly in charge at Valencia and Real Madrid.

Duncan Ferguson is also linked to take charge amid Benitez’s exit, after the 50-year-old reportedly turned down a move to Real Madrid.

Former Everton coach Carlo Ancelotti, who left Goodison in a return to the Bernabeu in the summer, wanted to take him as part of his coaching team.

Ferguson was placed in caretaker charge of Everton in 2019, following the sacking of Marco Silva, prior to Ancelotti appointed manager.

Everton won four of their first six league games under Benitez, taking 13 points from a possible 18, but their form has wavered since October.

They finished 10th with 59 points last season, with current Real Madrid boss Ancelotti as manager.

Director of football Marcel Brands departed The Toffees in December, as owner Farhad Moshiri attempted to halt the crisis at Goodison.