Everton's potential approach for Ralf Rangnick has been nipped in the bud before even getting off the ground, according to reports in Germany.
The Toffees were touted with making a move for RB Leipzig's sporting director on Thursday morning as they continue to look for a new manager to replace the sacked Ronald Koeman.
However, Leipzig chief executive Oliver Mintzlaff told SportBild that his side were on the verge of agreeing a new deal with Rangnick that would tie him down to his current position in the long-term - a factor which would leave Everton scrambling for yet another top target after they moved on from former number one choice Marco Silva.
Mintzlaff said: "We expect to extend the contract ahead of schedule this week. Ralf Rangnick is the sportive engine of our club and therefore also elementary for our future development.
"It was less about financial or maturity issues, but rather about which direction RB Leipzig continues to take.
"Since we have 100 per cent the same ideas, we want to continue the same: make even more stars out of jewels, stay attractive in all areas of the club and continue to grow organically."
The press in the UK had claimed that Rangnick was on Everton's radar after they decided not to continue their pursuit of Watford boss Silva following two failed attempts to prise him from Hertforshire.
The 59-year-old has not held a managerial position since 2011 with Schalke, and has never managed outside of his homeland either.
Surely club just makes call and works to get right man in summer and gives Unsworth interim job officially. This uncertainty not doing club reputation any favours . A statement either way hardly too much to ask 🤷♂️— Graeme McVeigh (@GraemeMcV) November 23, 2017
However, that did not prevent the media from installing Rangnick - ironically touted as a potential Blues boss after Roberto Martinez was sacked in early 2016 - as the Premier League side's new favourite to land the vacant hot seat at Goodison Park.
Evertonians have grown frustrated at the slow approach to appointing a new senior manager, with their club having taken five weeks thus far to pinpoint Koeman's successor.
Temporary boss David Unsworth will lead his team out for the sixth match in a row for the Europa League dead rubber match against Atalanta, and will likely be at the helm for league clashes against Southampton and West Ham in the next week as the club's search continues.