By Will Butcher
Jaap Stam has revealed his delight at being reportedly considered as a contender for the West Ham managerial role.
The Mirror claims Dutch great Stam has caught the eye of West Ham chiefs as current boss Slaven Bilic comes under increasing pressure following a mixed 2016-17 campaign.
Croat boss Bilic has failed to oversee a repeat of his side’s 2015-16 heroics that saw them finish seventh, with the Hammers currently sitting in 12th place and losing their last three matches.
It has seen the former Manchester United defender Stam credited with possible switch to the Premier League club, and he refused to rule out a move to the London Stadium in quotes published by the Daily Express.
“I am aware of it [West Ham’s interest],” Stam said. “That is what happens. What happens next season, happens next season.
“It is nice to be recognised. I do not know if it is true – everyone wants recognition.”
Stam has one year remaining on his contact with the Royals, after signing a two-year deal with the Berkshire club back in the summer.
In what is his first managerial role, Stam has taken to English football with aplomb by guiding Reading into the Championship play-offs.
The Mirror reported that contract talks with Bilic have been halted until the end of the season after a dismal run of form with the Hammers.
Now, the Hammers board will be boosted by Stam’s latest comments, if they do decide to go down the route of sacking Bilic and hiring 44-year-old manager Stam.
In other West Ham news, Tony Gale has criticised the Hammers board, describing this as useless.