Everton could be docked points as Watford push for a resolution to the investigation of the alleged ‘tapping-up’ of Marco Silva.
The Toffees pursuit of Silva, formerly in charge at Vicarage Road, is under debate after he was eventually appointed manager of the Merseyside club in the summer.
Premier League chiefs have launched an investigation, with The Times reporting that Everton could suffer a points deduction or a substantial fine depending on the outcome.
But Mirror Football understands a change to their league standing will only be an extreme last resort to end the case.
The report claims that Goodison Park chiefs, including owner Farhad Moshiri, have been asked to hand over documents such as phone records and diaries to a QC.
Silva was sacked as manager of Watford in January citing Everton’s approach of the Portuguese coach as the “catalyst for the decision.”
Everton reportedly made several attempts to coax Silva into becoming their new boss just months after the 41-year-old had taken the helm at Vicarage Road.
The Merseyside club was allegedly prepared to pay up to £10million in compensation for Silva, who refused to pledge his future to the Hornets amid the interest.
Watford then went on a poor run of just one win in eleven games before relieving Silva from his post.
The Premier League made a failed attempt to mediate between the two clubs, with Watford turning down the possibility of financial compensation.
Both clubs have since dealt with each other over the transfer of forward Richarlison, but no compensation over Silva was agreed in the fee for the Brazilian.
Watford have since made a formal complaint to pursue its disciplinary claim, which the club claims was less about the financial aspect, but more about “making a stand” against a club who made a clear breach of league rules.
In a previous statement, the Hornets said: “In pursuing its disciplinary claim, the club has known from the outset it forfeited any right to compensation as a consequence of not following a proposed arbitration process.
“We believe this situation is not about a compensation figure but the principle of making a stand when the actions of one Premier League club completely undermine and cause intrinsic damage to a fellow member club.”
Any decision on the investigation is likely to be made before a three-man independent commission, led by the QC.