By Richard Parks
West Ham are ready to make an approach for Newcastle United manager Rafael Benitez as they target a swift appointment, according to a report.
The Telegraph claim the London club want a high-calibre man in place by the end of next week as they move quickly following the exit of David Moyes.
It is said that Benitez features prominently on West Ham’s shortlist and that the hierarchy are aware they would need to pay his £6million release clause to seal the deal.
Football Insider verdict:
Would Benitez be an upgrade on Moyes? Definitely. Is a deal likely? It’s certainly possible, but the Spaniard will have huge reservations about jumping from the frying pan into the fire. His future is in considerable doubt as St James Park, as he has just a year left on his contract and owner Mike Ashley has yet to guarantee him the improved transfer kitty he wants after keeping the club safe from relegation after promotion a year ago. Benitez is a shrewd man, and is likely to use West Ham’s interest as a negotiating tool to get more cash from Ash. There are also major issues at West Ham, who play in a soulless stadium in front of restless fans and where the board have a reputation for being difficult to work for, as well as almost comically indiscreet. Would that be better than working for Ashley, assuming a takeover is not agreed at Newcastle? Maybe it would be a case of, ‘better the devil you know’ for Rafa.