Report: West Ham eye up former Real Madrid player to replace Bilic
By Aramide Oladipo
West Ham United are interested in making Espanyol manager Quique Sanchez Flores their next manager, according to a report.
Spanish publication Sport reports that the hierarchy at the East London club have lost faith in current boss Slaven Bilic and the 52-year-old is one of the options to replace him whether it be a short or long-term arrangement.
The newspaper claims Fulham manager Slavisa Jokanovic is also in the running to become the new man in charge of the Hammers.
The report claims that the Spaniard would be open to a move back to the Premier League following his successful stint at Watford during the 2015-16 campaign.
Flores managed to guide the Hornets to Premier League survival and a place in the FA semi-final that season and he was a huge favourite amongst the fans at Vicarage Road.
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The Spaniard is accustomed to dealing with pressure at the top level having spent two years plying his trade at La Liga giants Real Madrid, making a total of 81 appearances.
Bilic’s position at the East London club has been scrutinised due to the disappointing 2016-17 campaign where the Hammers were fighting against relegation for the majority of the season.
West Ham have failed to start this season in great fashion, losing four of their opening seven league matches.
Football Insider verdict
Although the Hammers have failed for consistency over the last two seasons, speculation surrounding Bilic’s job appears to be quite unfair. The Croatian steered West Ham to Europa League football in his first season in charge and he has had to deal with the club moving out of Upton Park to adjust to life in their new stadium. It doesn’t appear that the players are not behind their boss but results have not favoured West Ham in the early stages of the campaign. However, Flores impressed in his sole season in England with Watford and it would be interesting to see how he fares with a squad possessing better quality. If there are any rumbles of in-fighting at the club, the Spaniard would be the perfect man to come and go back to basics.
In other West Ham news, this summer signing is reportedly open to a move to Spain.