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O'Neill in frame for West Ham

Avram Grant is resigned to losing his job as West Ham manager, with Martin O'Neill expected to be appointed this week.

It is understood that representatives of the club have been trying to persuade O'Neill to take the job for the last week and were in negotiations to finalise terms of a deal last night.

O'Neill left Aston Villa in August and has been persuaded to try and save West Ham from relegation. He will be given funds to bring in players and has made his priority the signing of Robbie Keane, who is close to agreeing a deal with Birmingham City.

Grant, whose West Ham team lost 3-0 at home against Arsenal last night, feels he has been undermined by members of the club's hierarchy. Last week he criticised Karren Brady, the vice-chairman, for revealing why she pulled the plug on Steve Sidwell's transfer to Upton Park.

Sources within the club said there remained some support for Grant at board level, believed to be from David Gold, but that, with the club bottom of the league with 15 games to go, a change was needed to avoid relegation.

West Ham officials said last night that no announcement was imminent, with a source close to the negotiations insisting the deal had not been completed.

There have been delays, believed to be over agent's fees and the timing of the announcement, and, bearing in mind the way this process has been handled, there is still scope for it to collapse. O'Neill, though, has agreed to join in principle.

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