Steven Gerrard has emerged as a shock consideration by Everton after the surprise departure of Carlo Ancelotti, leaving his post as manager to take over at Real Madrid.
Ancelotti made a swift and smooth exit from Goodison Park on Tuesday as he returns to the Bernabeu to occupy the role recently vacated by Zinedine Zidane.
It was seen as a major coup for Everton when they landed the Italian, as a three-time Champions League winner and a seven-time league winner across four top-flight divisions including the Premier League, and it ultimately proved too good to be true.
The opportunity to return to Madrid, for the challenge of anchoring a Real side in flux, clearly outweighed the reality of life in charge of the far-distant-second club on Merseyside.
Everton have already turned their focus to replacing Ancelotti, and it comes as a surprise that Gerrard is among the candidates being discussed by their board.
That is according to The Athletic, who also name Rafa Benitez as one of the options, along with former managers David Moyes and Roberto Martinez.
They stress that “no contact has been made” at this stage, but it is remarkable that Gerrard is even being considered given his ties to Liverpool.
It would almost be no surprise if Benitez took the job if offered, due to his affinity with the area he has laid his roots, but for Gerrard to jump from Rangers to Everton would be unthinkable.
Unlike his long-time team-mate Jamie Carragher, Gerrard was a lifelong Red – despite that picture of him as a kid in an Everton strip – who harbours ambitions of managing the club one day.
To take over at Goodison would all but rule out the prospect of him being Liverpool manager in the future, with it very rare players or managers cross the Stanley Park divide.
Links with Gerrard do, however, serve as recognition of the excellent job he is undertaking in Glasgow, having won the title with Rangers this season after 10 barren years.
Rangers produced an unbeaten campaign in the Scottish Premiership, with 32 wins and six draws from their 38 games leaving them with 102 points – a full 25 more than second-placed Celtic.