All it took was a phone call.
One chat with his former boss and Carlo Ancelotti decided to turn his back on Everton and return to Real Madrid.
For 18 months, Everton had dreamed of something better. Ancelotti appeared to be happy at the club and was openly optimistic. He saw positives, believed in Everton’s squad and knew the club would back him with new players this summer.
In fact, everything indicated he wanted to remain at the club long-term and lead them into their new stadium at Bramley Moore.
Ancelotti was even delighted with his newfound relaxed lifestyle on Merseyside, which was a far throw from the pressures of Milan, Madrid and Munich.
One phone call from Florentino Perez, though, and that all went out the window, as the lures of the big city life in Madrid were too strong.
For Everton, it’s a kick in the teeth and leaves the club wondering where they go now.
Farhad Moshiri thought he had the Hollywood manager he’s long desired. Not only that, he thought he had him sold on the vision for the club.
So who do the Toffees turn to next? It’s a difficult choice. Does Moshiri stick with his Hollywood idea or, fingers burned and heartbroken by Ancelotti, try something different?
His heart may be with the former and with the likes of Antonio Conte out of work; the temptation will be to throw the kind of money and ambition he used to lure Ancelotti to tempt his fellow Italian.
That, though, would make little sense given Ancelotti was not the success they envisioned.
Yes, there were excellent performances away from home and big-name signings that wouldn’t have come close to Everton had he not been there, but there were also plenty of negatives.
The home form this season, for example, was disastrous, and 18 months in, there was no sense of a coherent football style or plan for the future.
Indeed, there was a regular feeling from Everton that there was more than one idea on which way to run things, and despite claims to the contrary, they were never in sync.
Arguably Marcel Brands’ idea has been successful, with signings such as Ben Godfrey and Abdoulaye Doucoure faring better than those Ancelotti pushed for, such as James Rodriguez and Allan.
There are many, including the Dutchman, who would prefer to avoid signings like those and instead focus on young, hungry talent to be developed, but that’s not something that would fit with Conte or any of the big names Everton could target.
An Ancelotti level appointment will make little sense if Brands is staying at the forefront and would only help to strengthen the notion that Everton have no idea what they are, what they want to be or where they want to go.
If they are to change that, then hiring a manager who fits into the structure alongside Everton’s director of football rather than rubbing up against him is the clear path, and in that regard, there is one name who should be high on the list: Christophe Galtier.
Lille’s title-winning manager is unlikely to be among the candidates, which already has uninspiring options such as Eddie Howe, David Moyes and even Wayne Rooney.
Galtier currently sits at 16/1 with the bookmakers, the same odds given to England manager Gareth Southgate, an indication that he’s unlikely to be among those considered.
Unlike Southgate, though, there are plenty of reasons he should be.
Firstly, he plays an attractive style of football that Everton have been crying out for. Not since Roberto Martinez’s first season have the Blues played a swashbuckling style, and while Galtier isn’t quite as cavalier, he’s certainly far more entertaining than what’s been served up since.
That year under the Spaniard was the best many Everton fans have seen since the 1980s and a return to that, rather than the pragmatic approach Ancelotti employed, wouldn’t go down badly among a fanbase often split on what they want Everton to be.
Neither would a return to a 4-4-2 system that Galtier prefers and has long been a favourite among a Goodison Park crowd who have grown tired of 4-3-3, 4-2-3-1 or any of the other systems that simply haven’t delivered.
Galtier is also a man who, while a little temperamental, can put a team together and make them rally behind him, creating a unit that is all pulling in the same direction.
There are few at Everton who would deny that is desperately needed.
He is also capable of taking a bunch of leftovers and making it not only tasty but a Michelin star dish.
It’s what he did to win Ligue 1 with Lille this season, turning players like Burak Yilmaz and Jose Fonte into stars and getting the best out of a squad that had been picked apart by bigger clubs over the years.
Imagine what he could do with this mish-mash Everton squad?
Like Lille, this Everton squad is also full of talent ready to be developed, as he has done in France.
Players like Mike Maignan, Sven Botman, Zeki Celik, Boubakary Soumaré, Renato Sanches, Jonathan Ikoné and Jonathan Bamba have all been matured under Galtier’s watchful eye.
Those players are all primed for big moves in the near future, Maignan having already secured his, and that is what Everton need too.
Brands’ idea has always been to bring in players to develop and either turn into stars or sell for a major profit and Galtier has a proven track record of doing just that.
He’s even turned players like Sanches, ruthlessly tossed aside by Bayern, back into the player everyone thought he could be.
The majority of the players who’ve worked under him at Lille have improved and raised their values considerably, with several, such as Nicolas Pépé, Gabriel Magalhaes, Victor Osimhen and Rafael Leão all bringing major profits after their development under the French coach.
Several in the current squad will do the same this summer and already find themselves linked with big moves around Europe after a stunning campaign.
Galtier is demonstrably a coach who plays good football, makes excellent use of a patched-up squad and develops young players into major sales.
Those are all things Everton, and Marcel Brands, crave.
While it’s true he’s not a name that stirs the senses or has anyone widening their eyes in surprise, he’s one that makes plenty of sense.
Whether Everton, a club sorely lacking in any for some time, have enough to target him, however, is another matter.