Roberto Martinez could be the frontrunner to replace David Moyes at Goodison Park should the Everton manager become Sir Alex Ferguson's replacement at Manchester United.
The Wigan manager, who is likely to leave the DW Stadium in the summer if Athletic were relegated, has admirers in the Everton hierarchy.
Had Moyes left last year, when Everton feared Tottenham were going to appoint him, they were interested in Martinez.
And while Wigan face going down to the Championship, the Spaniard's achievement in reaching the FA Cup final, together with the pleasing passing football he has played, means his reputation is intact.
Martinez's willingness to work with a small budget also qualifies him for the job at Goodison Park, where Moyes has broken even in the transfer market over the past four years.
The 39-year-old, who joined Wigan from Swansea in 2009, turned down the Aston Villa job two years ago and was interviewed by Liverpool before they appointed Brendan Rodgers in June.
Chairman Dave Whelan admitted he will leave Wigan at some point - although on Thursday it was claimed no contact has been made by Everton - but urged Martinez to look for a bigger club.
"It's a battle that I will lose and Wigan will lose [at some point], I've no question on that," Whelan told BBC Radio 5 Live.
"It's [a case of] would Roberto choose to go to Everton or would he wait for one of the really big clubs?
"I'm not degrading Everton in any way, shape or form - they're a great club with great supporters - but is Everton regarded as one of the top European clubs? Well, unfortunately they're not."