Benitez now odds-on to become next West Ham manager after a sustained gamble on the former Liverpool boss
Many Liverpool supporters would like to see Rafael Benitez back at Anfield although it appears that West Ham will be the ones welcoming the Spaniard with open arms.
It is no secret that Sam Allardyce will leave Upton Park at the end of the season, with the West Ham board looking to make a managerial change after a largely underwhelming season which has seen the Hammers sink down the table after a bright start.
For all Allardyce’s claims that this has been an “excellent” season, the owners will feel that more ambition is required, with Benitez heavily experienced after previously taking charge of Liverpool, Valencia and Internazionale.
He was also briefly Chelsea boss where he was unpopular with the fans but still won the Europa League while in interim charge. Benitez is currently in charge of Napoli although it appears that West Ham have landed this big name to return to the Premier League.
BetVictor go 1/2 about Benitez replacing Allardyce, with Slaven Bilic the other name supposedly in the frame, although the Croatian has been linked with the West Ham manager’s job for several years without getting on to the shortlist.
David Moyes is a 6/1 chance with BetVictor although it might be that the former Everton and Manchester United boss makes the switch to Newcastle United instead. Alternatively, he might continue at Real Sociedad in Spain.
Allardyce will leave a pretty decent squad for the incoming manager, with his contract coming to an end this summer.
“Everybody in the world of football has very short memories,” Allardyce said.
“It’s only what happened a couple of weeks ago or next week that matters. What happened four months ago is forgotten, whether that’s good, bad or indifferent. That’s football.
“I want to see it through, yes. That depends on a lot of anomalies in terms of negotiations – not just myself but those involved around me. And of course how we’re going to progress in terms of recruitment.
“I’ve never heard them say I’m not doing a good job. I’ll find out next week and then I can ask them why – see if they give me an honest answer.
“We’re 11th with 47 points so we’ve got to try and get that 50-point mark and hope it gets us to 10th.
“Even if it doesn’t it’s still been an outstanding season and for me an outstanding three years back in the Premier League. I’ve only had to worry about relegation for about six weeks in three seasons.”