West Ham ready to make their move to appoint Rafael Benitez as their new manager
Newcastle manager Rafael Benitez has emerged as a top target for West Ham's owners, as they weigh up their options following the departure of David Moyes as the club's manager on Wednesday.
Moyes and West Ham parted ways after a meeting at the London Stadium, with the Scot leaving after he guided the Hammers to Premier League safety after a challenging season for the club on and off the pitch.
Now the hunt is on to appoint his replacement, with Shakhtar Donetsk boss Paulo Fonseca and former Manchester City title winning manager Manuel Pellegrini linked with the West Ham job in recent days.
Yet Benitez has long been the dream appointment for West Ham co-owner David Sullivan, who came close to recruiting Liverpool's 2005 Champions League winning boss before he took over at Real Madrid in the summer of 2015.
It remains to be seen whether Benitez would be open to the prospect of a move to West Ham after he staged talks with his current employers in recent days, but the Spanish tactician was left frustrated by the transfer funds he was handed by Newcastle in the last two transfer window.
Benitez has also been linked with a move to Napoli, but he has played down those reports as he tellingly stated his desire is to remain in England's Premier League.
"My future? I’ve heard so much talk, but I haven’t spoken to (Napoli chairman) Aurelio de Laurentiis. I have a contract with Newcastle, I’m talking to them about my renewal," he stated.
"They made me some offers to stay here for a few more years, plus I have to manage my family. When I decided to go to Newcastle and stay there, even in the Championship, it was also because of my family.
"My priority is to stay in England. I’m only talking to Newcastle right now."
Benitez and his family still live in the Merseyside area and it appears he will soon have to make a decision whether he wants to make a move to London next season.