Everton make contact with Belgian federation over coach Martinez
Everton are interested in Belgium manager Roberto Martinez returning to the club and have made initial contact with the Belgian Football Association.
Belgium are reluctant to lose the Spaniard, 48, with the World Cup in Qatar in November and believe they will retain his services.
Martinez is high on the Toffees' list of contenders to succeed Rafael Benitez, who was sacked on Sunday.
He then became Belgium manager in August 2016, achieving a third-place finish at the 2018 World Cup, and he is also technical director of the national team.
Belgium, the world's number one ranked side, are among the favourites for this year's World Cup.
The prospect of Martinez doing both the Everton and Belgium jobs has been floated but the Belgian FA will reject any such suggestion out of hand, while a clean end-of-season break is also not on the cards with the World Cup being held in November and December in Qatar rather than in the summer.
Martinez retains support inside Everton's boardroom despite being the first of five managers to be sacked by current owner Farhad Moshiri, departing in May 2016 after three seasons in charge.
The Catalan has also retained great affection for Everton, believing he has unfinished business at Goodison Park.
He is one of a number of candidates under discussion as Everton attempt to move away from Benitez's ill-fated and toxic reign, which ended amid fan anger and protests during and after Saturday's 2-1 defeat at struggling Norwich City.
Martinez may well be another hard sell for Moshiri after his controversial appointment of former Liverpool manager Benitez. He, like Benitez, was also the target for protests and banners demanding his removal after his tenure went into decline following a fine first season when Everton finished fifth.