West Ham U-turn as chiefs pull plug on deal - report
By Dominic Toner
West Ham will delay talks of a contract extension with Slaven Bilic until the end of the season, according to a report.
The Sun claim that the Hammers have pulled the plug on contract negotiations with their manager Bilic, but they were originally set to discuss fresh terms over the Christmas period.
West Ham co-owner David Sullivan explained at the beginning of the season that they were likely to extend Bilic’s deal in January.
“I will give Slaven a new deal in January,” Sullivan said. “I just want to see that he is not a one-season wonder. I am sure he is not but we’ll talk next January.”
The Sun report details that Bilic has not convinced the owners with the club’s start to the season and there are fears that they will sack him during the campaign.
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West Ham were expected to challenge for a European spot this season after their seventh-placed finish in the Premier League last campaign, but have been nervously looking behind them at the possibility of a shock relegation.
The Londoners are currently 13th in the table and have managed to steer away from the relegation places in recent matches with back-t0-back 1-0 victories against Hull and Burnley.
The club’s poor run of form this season has coincided with their ground move to the London Stadium and Bilic has also been deal with several injury blows.
Croatian manager Bilic has had to use the full depth of his squad and several of his key players have been unable to recapture their best form.
The 48-year-old remains a popular figure with the West Ham supporters after a spell with the club during his playing career, but he is now under pressure to deliver results.
The Hammers face Swansea and Leicester in their final two games of 2016 and Bilic will be looking for positive results.
In other West Ham news, the club’s 26-year-old has been the biggest disappointment of 2016.