It has been reported in The Mirror late last night that West Ham are poised to make a move for Rafa Benitez, should their form fail to improve under Slaven Bilic.
The Mirror claim Benitez remains highly thought of at the London club, who were thought to have lined up the Spaniard as a replacement for Sam Allardyce two years ago – only to see Real Madrid come calling at the last minute.
West Ham chairman, David Sullivan, backed up such claims in 2015:
“We were two hours from getting Benitez and then Real came in. We had agreed a contract and everything.
“He is a top manager, whatever anybody says, and I think he’d have done a wonderful job for us.”
While it may seem as though Rafa was, at one stage, close to becoming the West Ham manager, we have little reason to believe he will be taking over The Hammers anytime soon.
Benitez is on course to gain promotion with Newcastle, at the first time of asking, and has a long-term project at the club, building a strong bond with players and fans alike.
There’s no doubting West Ham’s interest in the Spaniard, if such stories are to be believed, but it’s hard to see him leaving at present.
The only way Benitez would possibly swap Newcastle for West Ham is if we failed to gain promotion or, over the summer, Mike Ashley failed to deliver, which could ultimately force Rafa out the door at St.James’ Park – I sincerely hope it doesn’t come to that, however.