By Wayne Veysey

11th Dec, 2019 | 4:37pm

Exclusive: West Ham have plans in place for duo to take over next week

West Ham are ready to ask Steve Potts and Kevin Keen to take temporary charge next week if they lose this weekend, Football Insider can reveal.

The Premier League club are planning to sack Manuel Pellegrini if they extend their dreadful run by falling to defeat at St Mary’s Stadium on Saturday evening.

A West Ham source has told Football Insider that the club will turn to Under-23s coach Potts and Under-18s coach Keen to take charge if they have not agreed a deal with someone to replace Pellegrini immediately.

The Londoners are assessing candidates to take over from Pellegrini but the process is still at the early stage.

The Chilean is fighting to keep his job after West Ham sunk to their seventh defeat in nine league matches on Monday night night, a 3-1 defeat at home to manager-less Arsenal.

The Hammers hierarchy have decided that Pellegrini will be dismissed if the team lose to relegation-threatened Southampton following a wretched run going back three months.

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As revealed by Football Insider earlier today, the club’s hopes of enticing Rafael Benitez back to the Premier League from China have hit a brick wall after he knocked back an approach.

Potts and Keen, both 52, are West Ham legends with extensive post-playing associations with the club.

Keen, who return to the Irons in June to coach the Under-18s after working as assistant manager to Chris Powell at Southend, has been in caretaker charge on three previous occasions.

In other West Ham news, it can be REVEALED that the club are lining up a move to sign 25-year-old central midfielder for £12million.