The Toffees identified Silva as their first choice soon after Ronald Koeman was axed as boss in October, according to the report from BBC Sport's Phil McNulty. The Vicarage Road hierarchy is determined to retain the services of the 40-year-old, but is bracing itself for further advances from Everton.
David Unsworth assumed caretaker charge at Goodison Park following Koeman's dismissal on Oct. 23. The under-23 coach was in the technical area when Everton overturned a 2-0 deficit to beat Watford 3-2 in a thrilling tie before the international break. His tactical mindset has been questioned, however, particularly when Gylfi Sigurdsson was deployed as a false nine in a 3-0 loss in Lyon.
Koeman's full-time successor will inherit a side appearing to lack both pace and width, and one that is languishing in 15th position despite preseason designs on the European places. Everton holds just one away win all season - a 1-0 victory in the third round of Europa League qualification against Slovakian minnow Ruzomberok.
Silva received praise for how quickly he turned Hull City into a cohesive and tactically versatile unit when he took over there last January. He almost kept the Tigers in the division, boosting his curriculum vitae after impressive stints at Estoril, Sporting CP, and Olympiacos. His stay at Watford has begun in a similar vein, with the Hornets occupying ninth place in the Premier League and playing an entertaining brand of football.
Everton majority shareholder Farhad Moshiri is likely looking to recruit before his team regroups for Saturday's trip to bottom-placed Crystal Palace. Other names linked to the role include Burnley gaffer Sean Dyche and the supposedly retired Sam Allardyce.