“Benitez was minutes away from signing”


CarloAncelottiNewPressGetty1West Ham are still clinging to hopes that either Rafa Benitez or Carlo Ancelloti can be brought into the club.

And they are so determined to get the highest quality boss possible that until Benitez is officially confirmed into the Real Madrid job,  they will hold off holding talks with other candidates.

Ancelotti has ruled himself out of the job because he needs back surgery but a top Hammers source said: “That can change as can every situation. He could decide to delay the operation.”

And he revealed that Benitez was within minutes of signing an Irons deal when his representatives were contacted by Madrid and things collapsed.

He said: “It looked signed and sealed for us but then that happened. That’s  why everybody is being so careful because things change so quickly.”

Our source said: “Things really have changed. The board are determined to get the highest possible quality candidate and although things look a bit dim on the big two, they are giving themselves every chance.

“They don’t want to find themselves appointing and alternative third or fourth choice and suddenly one of their top choices ‘unexpectedly’ becomes available – those would be Rafa and Carlo!”

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Hugh Southon is a lifelong Iron and the founding editor of ClaretandHugh. He is a national newspaper journalist of many years experience and was Bobby Moore's 'ghost' writer during the great man's lifetime. He describes ClaretandHugh as "the Hammers daily newspaper!"

Follow on Twitter @hughsouthon


  • bubs says:

    Rafas old lady will be ****ed,never mind was never ment to be,
    Breslau and Bilic still looking good to me sorry Hamburg but don’t think it’s going to happen

  • essexclarets says:

    From what i’ve read Rafa is not a popular choice for the fans at RM, watch this space 🙂
    cant hold it against him, who wouldn’t want to manage RM??

  • Rads says:

    Exactly Essex,even with claret & blue tinted glasses you cant hold it against him for choosing the Real job.Tbh im not that fussed about him coming to us anyway.Dont know why,just dont fancy him as our manager 😉

  • Quickdraw says:

    I’m the same Rads,it’d be a great sign of intent by the board but there’s just something about him that doesn’t appeal to me

  • HamburgHammer says:

    So we are puttin our fate into what Real are doing then ? How long are we supposed to wait for them to make their decision, determining if we can get Benitez or not ?
    Ancelotti is out of the picture with his medical issue I reckon.
    I’d rather see us make a very determined move (ahead of Liverpool and other clubs) for Klopp, Bielsa or Emery.
    I know Benitez is a very good manager, but I just don’t fancy the thought of being his second or third choice.
    Under the current circumstances I’d even prefer Bilic who appears willing to join rather than Benitez.

    • hammer4life says:

      Agreed. I’m worried that if the club openly make Rafa their target it will put the other candidates off because they will feel like second best

  • HamburgHammer says:

    Our board need to act quickly and wisely here, not a good idea to **** off your manager targets or keep them waiting to long. We have to trust our board here and hope they get it right, never losing focus on the magnitude of this decision.
    They can’t afford to end up with number seven on their list after chasing away the other six.

  • mattefumi version 2.0 says:

    Real has made a grave mistake firing Ancelotti, Benitez is not an improvement. Yes, I agree with many here, we need someone ambitious and motivated and Benitez seems to prefer Real, one year and he’ll be fired. Now I’d prefer someone like Bilic, Howe or Emery. Young, modern ad ambitious.

  • Rads says:

    Yep for me i would prefer a younger more ambitous manager,not one looking for a last couple of pay days.We need someone who will be part of the project we are trying to start.Someone who can hopefully build it up over a few seasons.We had one old hippo,dont need another plodding around 😉

  • Dainon17 says:

    Id push for Klopp now and let (my personal favorite) Howe move in after Klopp leaves. I cant Imagine Klopp staying for 5 years if he did arrive BUT he could fast track things for 2 seasons then leave for madrid or Barca just in time for Howe to leave Bournemouth & join us

    That would be my personal choice, I hope Howe will stay with us for 15 years… I dont like swapping manager every few seasons

  • Spoonie says:

    Slim Slavs Claret & Blue Army!

  • mattefumi says:

    Managers like Klopp and Ancelotti (for example) are wonderful managers, but maybe, as Dainon says, they will not stay for many years. You’d start by finding out if the owners want a “big name” or they want to invest in a cheaper and young manager who can bring us a clear modern philosophy and he can stay longer. it’s a little bit like Man utd with Ferguson and Arsenal with Wenger. In this case names like Howe, Bilic, Emery (but I’m not so sure about him) or De Boer would be perfect.

  • TysonM says:

    Screw Benitez,if he doesnt want to come to us or is using us as a back up plan he can jog on.I want someone who really wants to be our boss not someone who seea us as a retirement plan contract!

  • jonnyem1 says:

    Fancy we oughta forget Benitez coz chances are if we landed him and a better position became available at Xmas or starting next season he’d be off. Can’t say I know too much about Bielsa but from what ive read he’s quality , has done a great job at Marseille and is well likes and wants the West Ham job and is up to the challenge of overcoming the language barrier, I think he’s the one for me as he’s a big name, hold weight and has European and domestic success.

  • canchaz says:

    “Benitez was minutes away from signing”…And?’

  • StingRay Stewart says:

    Here he is,Canchaz,our daily ray of sunshine.Bringing hope & optimism to us all,lol 😀

  • bubs says:

    And one of the best teams if not the best came in and offered him a chance to manage his
    Country’s biggest challenge and could lead to him becoming his country’s Manager,
    So he thought no Fukc it I will join Westham they are a much better choice and that’s without the fact that he will probably get twice the wage pay half the tax speak his own language,sit in the sun not the rain,
    Have you got it canchaz
    AND ?

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