Former Watford head coach Marco Silva’s protracted appointment at Everton has moved a step closer after the Toffees sacked Sam Allardyce.

The Goodison Park club are eager to appoint Silva as the successor to Allardyce, but are currently involved in a dispute with Watford over an approach made for the Portuguese while he was still at Vicarage Road.

Watford have filed a complaint with the Premier League accusing Everton of tapping up Silva in November and are seeking compensation.

The ongoing disagreement between the two clubs has seen the league intervene in an attempt to reach a solution.

Silva is himself pushing for six months’ worth of severance pay from Watford – a figure which would amount to £750,000 – and it is unlikely he will be able to be appointed until both complaints are resolved.

A statement from Everton made no mention of Silva, instead saying the search for a new manager would commence immediately as well as thanking Allardyce for his work.

“On behalf of the Chairman, Board of Directors and Farhad Moshiri, I’d like to thank Sam for the job he has done at Everton over the last seven months,” Everton deputy CEO Denise Barrett-Baxendale said.

“Sam was brought in at a challenging time last season to provide us with some stability and we are grateful to him for doing that.

“However, we have made the decision that, as part of our longer-term plan, we will be appointing a new manager this summer and will be commencing this process immediately.

“Again, we’d like to place on record our sincere thanks to Sam for his work with us over the last few months and wish him well for the future.”