West Ham will make an approach for Rafa Benitez after finally showing David Moyes the door.
Moyes was told on Tuesday morning that, as expected, his short-term contract at the London Stadium was not being renewed.
The Hammers have Newcastle boss Benitez at the top of a four-man shortlist, and hope to make an appointment by the end of next week.
Also on that list are former Hull and Watford boss Marco Silva – despite Everton’s interest in him – Manchester City 2013-14 title winner Manuel Pellegrini and Shakhtar Donetsk head coach Paulo Fonseca.
Benitez is first choice as he retains a good relationship with the Hammers having agreed a deal to succeed Sam Allardyce in 2015 — only for Real Madrid to step in and snap him up.
The Spaniard has just a year left on his contract at St James’ Park, where his future remains in doubt as owner Mike Ashley has yet to guarantee him the improved transfer kitty he wants after keeping the club safe from relegation after promotion a year ago.
West Ham’s new chief is set to be backed with substantial funds, with the board determined not to endure any more scraps to survive the drop.
The east London club contacted Silva and Pellegrini, who has been managing in China, in November, after Slaven Bilic was sacked and before Moyes was appointed.
Neither was prepared to join in mid-season, however, leaving them to wait until now.
Talks have already been held with Fonseca and Pellegrini.
The Hammers are well aware of Everton’s interest in Silva, but believe he could prefer London after his time with Watford earlier this season.
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