Bielsea talks left Hammers gobsmacked


bielsaMarcelo Bielsa’s possible arrival as Swansea City’s boss ahead of the clash against the Irons on Sunday may rest largely on wage issues that proved too rich for the Hammers blood.

The man considered a genius by some was very close to landing the Hammers job but it was the financial demands and issues that went with that which helped tip the balance in Slaven Bilic’s favour.

Both were interviewed at the final stages of the appointment process and sources close to the talks told ClaretandHugh at the time how Slav came to get the job.

The board were deeply impressed with him as a man and his plans for the club were exactly how they perceived the club’s direction. His salary request and for those of his staff were sensible and realistic at this stage of the club’s development.

He was described by senior insiders as “a very impressive man” and “one of our own” which was a major box that needed ticking, but it also became clear that Bielsa may not have helped his own cause with certain demands.

ClaretandHugh was told: “Slav was probably always going to get the job but it was strange Marcelo is understood to claim it wasn’t about money but the challenge or ‘project’ but wanted £6 million – £7 million for himself and his staff.

“Amazingly he wanted all the money and then he became the employer of his staff. The board found it all very strange. He is a very intense guy but extremely interesting!

“He wanted total control and no interference when buying players. He has utter confidence in his own ability. He might be a genius, but he is far from 100 per cent proven.”

Swansea are believed to have been in talks with the former Marseilles boss but some reports claim the negotiations have cooled.

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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!"

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