EXCLUSIVE: Irons wait on Benitez


rafaRafa Benitez remains right at the top of the West Ham’s wanted list and those close to the Spanish boss are making encouraging noises in our direction.

We can reveal that intermediaries have been spoken to and that the former Liverpool and Chelsea caretaker boss is listening to the Hammers’ overtures as a result.

Although he is heading into possible contract talks with Napoli we have been told that he remains keen on a Premier League club and sees the Olympic Stadium move as a big plus on his own impressive CV.

We were told categorically earlier today that he is attracted to another crack at the PL and assurances have even been sought that the Hammers won’t negotiate elsewhere until he knows where he is with Napoli.

However, one contender who has now been ruled out apparently is Marseilles boss Marcelo Bielsa with the board uncomfortable working with a manager who doesn’t possess a word of English.

Well places insiders have made it clear too that there is no huge rush to appoint the new boss with one saying: “There is no doubt in the board’s mind they can attract a top quality manager.

“They are determined to ensure they give themselves the best chance they can of attracting Rafa and that means waiting. He is the one that is at the top of the list.”

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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


  • ExPat_Hammer says:

    Convince Ryan Giggs to ply his managerial trade here for a while until RvG wanders off.

  • Michael Miller says:

    Ahh – ‘No speaka da lingo’ Bielsa – someone’s listening to my bugbear!

    It would be great if they could get someone of the stature and experience of Benitez – a genuine world class Manager with an impressive CV – BUT surely he’d want a huge change in the playing staff – can West Ham give him the quality of player he would demand?

    That’s a huge commitment from the Dave’s are they able to make it?

  • mattefumi starts counting down says:

    Ahah… I’m really happy reading this news, but… you ever hear the boy who cried wolf? It reminds me of something… Lol
    The owners should announce the next manager’s name before and not after the time limit for the renewal of the season ticket.
    If you buy a car you want to see it before, right? 😉
    Anyway, I’m really sorry for Bielsa, yesterday I watched OM – Monaco… His team plays very well, attacking and entertaining football.


  • TysonM says:

    If the chairmen are serious about ‘taking us to the next level’ then this sort of guy is the next level.If we end up with someone equivalent of McClaren,Mr.Bean or Baldrick then we know they are all mouth no trousers.Time to put up or shut up.Having said that Mr.Bean seems pretty appealing compared to the Hippo 😉

  • dusty85 says:

    Anyone heard if Klopp has decided on his future plans?

  • TysonM says:

    Aint heard anything,but i doubt you will anyway while he is still managing Dortmund.We need HamburgHammer for this type of info.But he has turned into a politican on wetpants.com today i think 😀

    • mattefumi starts counting down says:

      Ahah… Are they talking about Angela Merkel or Barack Obama? Wetpants the world’s destiny is in your hands… Lol

  • bubs says:

    What sort of political nightmare could be happening on wetpants.com,
    They are hoping like Farage NCS gets another chance,
    There is no parliament the 2 Davies run a dictatorship and they have decided NCS stays until they say so,

  • wolfie says:

    I want a manager who will motivate his players to play out of their skin. Have just watched what Gary Monk achieved at the Emirates tonight. Total commitment from his players. Sam MUST go, and we MUST get a manager who understands the modern game.

  • mattefumi starts counting down says:

    Well said wolfie, one of us. You are in the right place if you desire modern and entertaining football. If you want to know the hottest news about the next American President I suggest you wetpants.com lol 🙂


  • HamburgHammer says:

    Sorry guys, I cannot really help you with news on Klopp other than I would love him to join us. I’ve already managed I see him as a good fit for our club.
    We keep hearing contradictory news on him, some claim he has already categorically refused to consider us, others are saying he has kept his options open and will decide in once the Bundesliga season is through.
    Who knows ?
    Now there even is a discussion about Pep Guardiola potentially leaving Bayern Munich, creating a vacancy there, but I don’t see Klopp as capable of doing this to the Dortmund fans who still adore him, I cannot see him joining Bayern.
    I could potentially see him joining Liverpool, Arsenal or one of the Manchester clubs though, if they were prepared to make an offer.
    I wouldn’t completely rule out a move to West Ham, but chances may be slim.
    Maybe our chances might improve if we get Europa League football.

  • HamburgHammer says:

    This should have read ” I’ve already mentioned I see him as a good fit for our club.”

  • mattefumi starts counting down says:

    Ahah… Thanks Hamburg, you are our German Ambassador, great work… Klopp has always been my favourite manager, but unfortunately I think he’ll be just a dream. But ehi, we still have Sam, he’s not so bad… Lol 🙂

  • TysonM says:

    Guardiola said he is staying at Bayern today didnt he? maybe i misread it.Anyway,thanks for the input H,good to know what is happening with Klopp,not that he will ever set foot near being our boss.Cant imagine it anyway.Nice dream though 😉

  • HamburgHammer says:

    I find it hard to read Klopp these days. I always thought he was slightly different from your average manager. He liked challenges. He liked a project, taking an average team (like Dortmund used to be) and make it a lot better by putting his mark on them.
    That’s why I figured a club like West Ham with our tradition and passionate fanbase would appeal to him, especially as a first stop as managing a club in England.
    On the other hand maybe he feels he does deserve a step up the ladder after his time at Dortmund. Maybe he wants a big transfer kitty after all and a club that can offer him CL football straight away.
    Some people claim he knew already where he would sign the moment he quit Dortmund. I’m not so sure. He will simply wait with his agent for offers to come in, evaluate them and make a decision end of May or early June.
    I wouldn’t count us out just yet. But apparently Benitez and Moyes are top of our board’s list anyway now.

  • TysonM says:

    Yeah i read an article today where Klopp was laughing about Dortmund starting to win again since he said he was leaving.He seems like a decent guy with some humour.He always seemed like a good fella,though of course i have only seen interviews on tv.But he seems like a guy who cares for Dortmund fans unlike our inspirational leader when it comes to us 🙂

  • mattefumi starts counting down says:

    Benitez would be perfect, his football philosophy is similar to that of Klopp. Moyes would be good, but I would prefer Rafa. Anyway both much much much better than the Genius. 😉

  • TysonM says:

    Most are better than the genius Matte.Btw,what is it with people who say i will support west ham whoever the board get.Wont everyone.Do they think by not raising issues when things are bad that it makes them more loyal,the genuine fan who will never speak against The Irons.It does my head in,why shouldnt people be allowed to show displeasure when things are bad.Does it somehow make you less of fan because you dared to speak out against the manager or board.Didnt know we had saints amongst us in the stands,we must be the sinners i guess 😀

  • mattefumi starts counting down says:

    I totally agree with you Ty. I think if you love your team, it doesn’t mean you have to be blind and accept any decision. On the contrary, if you really love your team and you think something is wrong you should fight to change the situation.
    Personal opinion. 😉

  • TysonM says:

    Just seen apparently Hippohead has turned down a new contract,lol,yeah sure he has.Why the f*ck is it people dont believe stories about possible new managers or signings & call it paper talk garbage,but they see an article saying Allardyce has turned us down & believe it.What an absolute load of b*ll****,lol 😉

  • Rads says:

    Yeah saw it earlier on some news link.Dont believe it mate,just the papers putting a new slant on it i think.Tbh i dont care which way round its done as long as he goes 😉

  • mattefumi starts counting down says:

    Ahagah… Sam refused what??? Yeah, maybe the owners offered 3 years contract – £5 mil. each year while he wanted 5 years contract – £7 mil. each year… Lol

  • HamburgHammer says:

    I love this, maybe West Ham couldn’t offer him enough clean sheets next season. We all know Sam loves his clean sheets a lot. More than goals scored anyway…:-)

  • mattefumi starts counting down says:

    I’ve just read the Telegraph article… Well I hope what I read isn’t true… If the owners really tried to offer a new contract to him, well… It would be a scandal. I really hope it’s just a joke.

  • HamburgHammer says:

    Face saving measure I reckon…

  • TysonM says:

    A source at the club said…..bla,bla,bla.So we shouldnt believe any stories in papers of potential incoming managers but this story has substance,lol,yeah sure it does.What an absolute load of sh*t 😀

  • pabloonechop says:

    Anyone watch Swansea last night. Well organised counter attacking team and without a recognised centre forward but no excuses. No excessive spending on squad- even sold best striker in January. Good passing football finishing high up in the league.
    Go get Gary Monk…..

  • IronsEssex says:

    Want Rafa, end up with Gus Poyet more then likely

  • rickthehammer63 says:

    can the pa system play ding dong the hippos gone against Everton plz that way he might take the hint

  • Tony gore says:

    Noel Kinnock!! Joe brand!!job geldof!!plenty to choose from that is on a par with Sam.

  • Stuck On 99 Forever! says:

    Think the PA should play ‘The Hippopotamus Song’ saturday,how does it go ‘Mud,Mud,Glorious,Mud’.

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