West Ham set to miss out on Marcelo Bielsa although Bilic second-choice to replace Sam Allardyce
Nearly twenty years after playing for West Ham, Slaven Bilic will return to the Boleyn Ground to manage the London club, with the Croatian having held successful talks with owners David Gold and David Sullivan over the weekend.
Along with Karren Brady, a decision has been made to install Bilic in the hotseat despite trying to keep their options open in case Marcelo Bielsa has a U-turn on a contract extension at Marseille.
Bilic recently left Turkish club Besiktas after previously managing Lokomotiv Moscow and the Croatian national team, the latter of which was a long stint between 2006 and 2012.
Gold and Sullivan parted company with Sam Allardyce at the end of last season, with the club owners claiming they would search for a high calibre manager who will hopefully be in place for when West Ham move to the Olympic Stadium for the 2016/17 season.
Unai Emery was on the shortlist although it appears that the Sevilla coach is remaining with the Europa League champions, while former Chile coach Bielsa is currently in charge of Marseille and doesn’t appear keen to make the switch from France to England.
At the time of writing, Bilic is a 1/16 chance to take charge of West Ham and his appointment appears imminent, with the owners wanting someone in place quickly so that the squad can be reshaped.
The Hammers slumped during the second half of last season and Bilic will be aware that the club’s owners will demand a top-half position in the Premier League and hopefully a spot in the Europa League next season.
Whether that’s delusional based on their current place in the top flight pecking order remains to be seen and some fans will question whether the instalment of Bilic represents a backward step after a pretty successful time of things under Allardyce.