David Moyes

Who’s Next? The Three Front-Runners To Succeed David Moyes At West Ham

It may only have been announced yesterday afternoon by West Ham United that manager David Moyes wasn’t going to be offered a new contract after the expiry of his six-month deal, but already, there are plenty of managers being linked to the now-vacant role. Today, we take a look at the three front-runners in the race to become West Ham’s next new permanent boss.

Manuel Pellegrini

The manager believed to be leading the race to become the next new boss at London Stadium is the 64-year-old, who is presently in charge of Chinese Super League team Hebei China Fortune.

Reports over the last 24 hours have suggested that the former Manchester City gaffer’s people have held talks with those of the club, which took place on Wednesday, over the managerial position.

The Chilean has an impressive resume of experience, managing a total of 14 clubs to this date, including the likes of the aforementioned Citizens, Argentine giants River Plate and Europe’s football powerhouses Real Madrid.

His list of trophies and accolades is perhaps all the more eye-catching, lifting a Premier League during his time at the Etihad, coincidently one he defeated the Hammers on the final day of the 2013/2014 season to secure, two League Cups and an Intertoto Cup at Villarreal, amongst others.

The Claret & Blue Army have been promised a “high-calibre” name by Joint-Chairman David Sullivan, and Pellegrini certainly fits this billing as one of the most prestigious names in the running to be managing at London Stadium next season, but will his “favourite” branding come to fruition?

Paulo Fonseca

The man near the top of most people’s betting slips and presently, the current second favourite to land the position, according to various bookmakers, is the Portuguese current manager of Shaktar Donetsk in Ukraine, the popular Paulo Fonseca.

Born in Portuguese Mozambique, the 45-year-old is the youngest and most inexperienced gaffer on this list and has attracted the attention of much of the footballing world this season by guiding his Donetsk team to the UEFA Champions League knockout rounds, becoming the first side to defeat Blue Moon in 2017/2018, along the way.

The Shaktar job was his first outside of Portugal, having managed four clubs previously, encompassing Porto and, who he led to the Champions League for the first time in their history, as a player, he was a centre-back, matching the position of the previous three Hammers bosses.

Remarkably, despite the stature of the other two managers on this countdown, statistically, he is the strongest with a win rate that exceeds the other twos’ by a whole seven per cent, and would be a popular appointment among Irons fans.

However, the only barriers in this deal, which was reportedly discussed on Monday at Sullivan’s Theydon Bois residence, is West Ham’s last PL opponents Everton’s interest in him, he reportedly would prefer a move to Merseyside and some media outlets are already reporting that Fonseca has turned down the opportunity to go to London Stadium.

Rafa Benitez

The third and final protagonist in the drama that is the race to succeed Moyes in Claret & Blue is perhaps the most recognisable and successful, Rafa Benitez, being placed as the co-second favourite by different bookies and odds checkers in the last couple of hours.

Much like Fonseca and Pellegrini, the club have been rumoured to have already approached the Spaniard about the job, despite him still being in charge and very much in favour at their Top-Flight rivals Newcastle United.

Benitez has been lauded for his recent efforts at St James’ Park, guiding a weak squad to a tenth-place finish having got them promoted from the Sky Bet Championship last season, but, the job he’s done with the Magpies isn’t the only reason he is such a hot prospect.

The 58-year-old too is ex-Madrid and a European champion as a manager, famously guiding Liverpool to the Champions League crown in 2005, and then defeating West Ham in the 2006 FA Cup final, also lifting the Europa League twice, with Valencia and Chelsea and before that, a pair of La Ligas, to barely scratch the surface.

Newcastle owner Mike Ashley is understood to be willing to do anything in his power to keep Benitez on Tyneside, though he does have history with the Hammers, having almost taken over from Sam Allardyce in 2015, before taking the job at the Bernabeu, his longstanding rivalry with Moyes would make replacing him a tasty proposition for the colourful Spanish icon.

So, now that we have given you a list of the front-runners to be announced as the next permanent boss of West Ham United within the attributed window of ten days, who would you like to see in the London Stadium dugout, out of these names? Let us know by heading over to @WestHamMatters_ on Twitter to vote in our poll and join the discussion.