Watford have rejected an approach from Everton for their manager Marco Silva, sources close to the Vicarage Road club have told ESPN FC.
Everton are continuing their search for a new manager following the sacking of Ronald Koeman and Silva has emerged as one of their top targets.
Watford are determined to keep hold of Silva as they look to build on his promising start to life at Vicarage Road this season and have informed Everton that any approach will not be welcome.
Sources have told ESPN FC that Silva would be interested in speaking to Everton about the vacancy at Goodison Park, but it remains to be seen if Watford would change their stance on the Toffees' interest.
Everton under-23s coach David Unsworth is currently in caretaker charge of the club and secured his first win against Silva's Watford before the international break.
Silva has done well at Watford since taking over in the summer and the club currently sit ninth in the Premier League.
The 40-year-old joined Watford after leaving Hull at the end of last season. Despite failing to steer Hull to safety from relegation to the Championship, Silva impressed in the role after replacing Mike Phelan in January.
Another target for Everton, former England boss Sam Allardyce, is also reportedly out of the running after he cooled his interest in the position as the club were only willing to give him a short-term deal until the end of the season, with the 63-year-old keen on a long-term contract.