Noel Whelan claims that former Liverpool and Newcastle United manager Rafael Benitez would love to take charge at West Ham amid links with the Hammers’ job.

The former Leeds United striker, speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, says that the Spanish boss would relish the chance to work with the players already at the London Stadium, as well as under owners who are willing to spend in the transfer market.

The Mirror have reported that the Hammers board will target the current Dalian Yifang manager should they choose to get rid of Manuel Pellegrini, the Chilean coming under pressure after a poor run of form.

Whelan says Benitez, a household name in England, would be the perfect figure to sort out the Irons’ woeful inconsistency this season and suggests that the Spaniard would be delighted to take charge at the London Stadium.

Asked if Benitez would be tempted by the Irons job, Whelan told Football Insider: “I think he’d be absolutely overjoyed with West Ham. They’ve got owners there with money, they’ve already gone out and spent a lot of money, they’ve got fantastic players there.

“It’s about finding that balance. West Ham seem to be one of these teams that you don’t what you’re going to come across when you play them – they’re either going to be excellent or absolutely dire. 

“We’ve seen both sides of them this season. I think if any manager can find that consistency and that balance right, it’s Rafa Benitez. He’s done it at every club he’s been at and he’s got the history and track record.”

Benitez left the Premier League for China this summer after three years at Newcastle United, the Magpies replacing him with Steve Bruce.

West Ham sit 16th in the Premier League table after a run of six top-flight games without a win.

In other West Ham news, Darren Bent has ripped into one Hammers star he has named the clubs’ biggest disappointment this season.