EVERTON icon Duncan Ferguson has quit his coaching job at Goodison Park as he eyes his first managerial job.
The 50-year-old was assistant to Carlo Ancelotti, Rafa Benitez and Frank Lampard with the Toffees.
He was recently dropped by Blackburn for his vacant head coaching job, with Jon Dahl Tomasson appointed instead.
This is despite the fact that Real Madrid manager Ancelotti personally phoned the Championship side where he gave them a glowing recommendation from Ferguson.
And Ferguson has now decided to leave Everton to pursue his managerial ambition.
Speaking to the club’s website, Ferguson, who served two terms as caretaker boss in December 2019 and January 2022, said: “It’s been a huge decision for me.
“It’s incredibly difficult, but I have to move on, take the next step in my career and look for this new challenge.
“Being an interim manager gave me confidence to go into management.
“The club have been fantastic with me. They have supported me throughout my journey.
“You have the chairman (Bill Kenwright) who has supported me as a player and as a coach. He has been amazing with me, so I would like to thank him.
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“And then there are people like our CEO Denise [Barrett-Baxendale] which was fantastic.
“It really is a caring club with decent people. They are huge Evertonians.
“And, of course, there are the fans. They have been amazing to me since I arrived in 1994. We have a strong bond.
“The relationship we’ve had over the years has been special. They know how much they mean to me. I will always love them.
Ferguson enjoyed two spells at Goodison Park as a player where he first joined Rangers in 1994 before leaving for Newcastle four years later.
He returned to Everton in 2000, with the former striker scoring 73 goals in 273 total appearances for the club.
The seven-cap Scottish international then returned to the club in 2011 to work with the academy, before being promoted to the first team in 2014.