In Focus: West Ham linked with Benitez and Mancini; under-fire Bilic must deliver results

According to reports in The Mirror, West Ham United are said to want to appoint either Newcastle United boss Rafa Benitez or former Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini if they decide to sack Slaven Bilic at the end of the season.

What’s the word, then?

Well, following a disappointing campaign at their new home, Bilic’s job is under threat following a number of disappointing performances.

The east London outfit have lost their last three Premier League matches, and are without a win in their previous five, which sees them lying in 13th position in the standings.

That may be deemed unsatisfactory for joint-chairmen David Gold and David Sullivan, who could sack the Croatian unless he turns things around in the run-in.

The Irons came close to getting Benitez before they appointed Bilic, and the Spaniard’s own future at Newcastle is said to be uncertain despite the fact the Championship leaders are on course for an instant return to the top flight.

Why is Benitez’s future uncertain?

Despite the Magpies’ success this term, Benitez is said to have been frustrated that he was unable to sign some of the targets he wanted during the January transfer window, and that same lack of ambition in the summer could lead him to quit his post.

Would he be a good appointment for the Hammers?

Yes, of course.

The Spaniard has led big teams such as Liverpool and Real Madrid during his managerial career, and he has the stature and the ambition to try and take West Ham up the Premier League table.

What about Mancini?

The Italian has been without a club since being sacked by Inter Milan earlier this season, but is said to be keen on a return to the Premier League, five years after winning the title with Manchester City.

He is certainly a name to look out for if Bilic fails to turn the Irons’ fortunes around.

So, who have West Ham got next?

The report in The Mirror states that the club’s hierarchy want the side to pick up at least two wins from their next four fixtures, and he will be under pressure to do so with three of those coming against clubs that currently in the bottom four – Hull City, Sunderland and Swansea.