West Ham close in on new manager


West Ham are planning to announce their new manager by the end of the week, with former player Slaven Bilic the overwhelming favourite to succeed Sam Allardyce.

West Ham Transfer Gossip

According to the London Evening Standard, the ex-Croatia boss met with the club’s owners over the weekend, although it is not believed that any offer has been made just yet.

The 46-year-old surprised many people when upon stepping down from leading the national side in 2012, he decided to reignite his club management career – having enjoyed a short spell with Hajduk Split 13 years ago – by staying in eastern Europe. Firstly, he joined Lokomotiv Moscow, before a two-year spell with Besiktas.

Only now – having left the Turkish outfit – does it appear that Bilic has found a potential job that would persuade him to move to one of the major leagues across the continent, and he will certainly be a popular appointment with the Upton Park faithful should the rumours prove accurate.

The former defender became something of a cult-hero at the Boleyn Ground, despite only being with the club for one season before departing for Everton in 1997. And the supporters will be hoping that he can bring the same team-building abilities he used to make Croatia one of the most difficult nations to beat – while also playing some excellent football – during his tenure.

As popular as he will be with the West Ham fans, the Evening Standard suggest that he may not have been so high up on the list of original candidates as he is now. The club hierarchy set their sights incredibly high, offering the position to Rafa Benitez, as well as maintaining an interest in both Carlo Ancelotti – the man Benitez would replace at Real Madrid – and Jurgen Klopp.

Once the trio indirectly ruled themselves out for various reasons, the east London side turned to Unai Emery, who guided Sevilla to consecutive triumphs in the Europa League, the Evening Standard report. However, he decided to stay with the La Liga side.

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