Thursday 19 September 2019

Hammers close to nailing down Pellegrini for top job

Manuel Pellegrini looks to be on his way to West Ham. Photo: Brian Lawless/Sportsfile
Manuel Pellegrini looks to be on his way to West Ham. Photo: Brian Lawless/Sportsfile

Jason Burt

West Ham United are confident of naming Manuel Pellegrini as their new manager this week.

The 64-year-old Chilean has travelled to London for talks, having informed Hebei China Fortune, his current club, that he is leaving.

The Chinese club then announced Pellegrini's departure, expressing their "sincere gratitude" for his contribution.

Pellegrini is likely to be offered a three-year deal at West Ham following the decision not to retain David Moyes, who left last week after his short-term deal at the club expired.

West Ham held talks with Paulo Fonseca, after he flew to London to meet co-owner David Sullivan, but the Portuguese then signed a new, enhanced two-year deal with Ukrainian club Shakhtar Donetsk.

Depending on which version of events is to be believed, Fonseca either had misgivings about taking the job or the club deemed him too big a risk given the other candidates he was up against, including Pellegrini, who had previously worked in the Premier League.

What was interesting was that Fonseca's agent, Jorge Mendes, also travelled for the talks, suggesting that a deal was on the table.

West Ham were always intent on speaking to other candidates and Pellegrini, who spent three years at Manchester City, winning the Premier League and taking them to the semi-finals of the Champions League, has always been a coach they admired.

Pellegrini has won league titles in four different countries and has previously been in charge of Real Madrid, Villarreal and Malaga.

If Pellegrini is appointed, it would appear to raise the likelihood of West Ham signing Yaya Toure, who is a free agent, having been released by City at the end of his contract.

The 35-year-old held talks with West Ham previously, when his wage demands were prohibitive, but now a deal may be more manageable, especially given his good relationship with Pellegrini. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

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