West Ham aren’t messing about when it comes to their new manager, and after David Moyes left the club, the Hammers want to move forward and are looking at top class coaches.
They’re looking far and wide, and while some familiar names are doing the rounds, one that Sky Sports News reporter Gabriel Clarke has identified is Rafa Benitez, who is of course managing Newcastle United at the minute and has a stellar reputation, and is reportedly admired at West Ham.
He said: “They’re looking for someone of high-calibre to take the club to the next stage of their development.
“One of the names, one of the high-calibre names that has emerged, is Manuel Pellegrini.
“We understand West Ham have spoken to representatives of Manuel Pellegrini, he’s currently managing out in China.
“His wages could well be a stumbling block, he’s being paid very well out in China at the moment, so that may block any West Ham bid to take those talks further.
“Another name is Paulo Fonseca, the manager at Shakhtar Donetsk.
“He’s a young, Portuguese manager, he’s got a victory over Manchester City in the Champions League this season.
“He’s another West Ham have spoken to, we understand they spoke to him on Monday and talks went well.
“But the search does go on; they have been speaking to people but other names are in the frame.
“The likes of Rafael Benitez up at Newcastle, they’ve long been fans of Rafa Benitez down here at West Ham.
“Relations have always remained friendly between them, there’s a lot of respect there. He is certainly someone West Ham are looking at.”
One thing Rafa Benitez will want if he is to stay at Newcastle is more in terms of transfer funds – and while Mike Ashley is once again trying to sell the club and has promised a kitty to the manager if it’s not been sold by that point, quite if that comes to pass remains to be seen given how Ashley has promised and failed to deliver in the past.
The one thing Newcastle do have going for them is the fact Benitez loves the city and the fans – and the club are huge – and would give him a chance to really take them places especially under new ownership, whereas West Ham are still struggling with their internal issues and have no plans to change that any time soon.