Sunday 26 March 2017

West Ham manager Sam Allardyce to quit Upton Park

Capital connection: Sam Allardyce could be in line to take over at Fulham Photo: PA
Capital connection: Sam Allardyce could be in line to take over at Fulham Photo: PA

John Percy

Sam Allardyce will reject any offer to stay on as West Ham United manager at the end of the season and he is understood to have turned down a tentative approach from the club’s board to open talks over a new deal.

It was widely expected that Allardyce would depart Upton Park, with his contract expiring, but West Ham have experienced frustration with targets Jürgen Klopp, David Moyes and Eddie Howe.

Klopp, who has announced that he will leave his position as Borussia Dortmund manager this summer, was sounded out via intermediaries but is prepared to wait until he makes his next career move.

Moyes is highly regarded by the West Ham board but he has made it clear that he will be staying at Real Sociedad for another season, while Howe will not leave Bournemouth after guiding the club to the Premier League by winning the Championship title.

West Ham have other options, which could include Michael Laudrup, the club’s former defender Slaven Bilic and Napoli’s Rafael Benítez, yet any hopes of persuading Allardyce to stay on will be turned down by the 60-year-old.

Allardyce is understood to have two other offers, one in England and one abroad, and one of those could be Fulham who are expected to search for a new manager after another season of underachievement in the Championship.

His future will not be at West Ham, however, and he has decided that he will leave the club even if they make a firm proposal to him in the next few weeks. Sources at West Ham have insisted that there was an approach made to Allardyce recently, with a new two-year deal potentially on offer, but it was declined.

That leaves West Ham facing a possible headache with their options diminishing, ahead of a crucial 12 months when they prepare to move into the Olympic Stadium for the 2016-17 season.

Allardyce is on the brink of securing a top-10 Premier League finish and could even clinch a place in the Europa League next season. West Ham are second in the fair play league, behind Liverpool, but could qualify if they can finish with fewer bookings than nearest rivals Everton, who they play on Saturday.

It has been a difficult final campaign for Allardyce, with injuries to the club’s record signing Andy Carroll and Diafra Sakho leaving him woefully short of attacking options. He has also been criticised by supporters over his tactics and style of play despite a concentrated attempt to bring in more flair players last summer. Allardyce is adamant that the season has been a success.

“Our position is to try to get 50 points or better and finish in the top half where we have been all season. It will be very disappointing for me if we don’t manage that,” he said. “I know we have more points than we have ever got, we are one better off than year one, but we have to get to the 50 mark and stay in the top half.”

Allardyce’s departure this summer will end a tenure of four years in east London, following his appointment as manager in June 2011.

Telegraph.co.uk

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