West Ham: Bilic's replacement lined up; Payet shines; midfielder had medical
As the pressure piles on to Slaven Bilic after a tough start to the season at the London Stadium, Calciomercato claim that David Sullivan and David Gold already have a replacement lined up. Roberto Mancini is already in London and has been linked with the England job as he was invited to Wembley by the FA for Saturday’s victory over Malta, but Italian sources believe that he is also being considered by the Hammers.
Mancini is a popular figure in the blue half of Manchester after his successful spell there but has since had little luck in a poor spell at Inter Milan as he returned to his former club. Now, a return to England seems likely, and the Irons could be about to offer him that opportunity if Slaven Bilic cannot improve results in the fixtures against Crystal Palace and Sunderland over the next fortnight.
A key man that Bilic will need if he is to get positive results is Dimitri Payet, who once again shone for his country in victory over Bulgaria, with the midfielder scoring France’s vital second goal himself after les Bleus initially went a goal behind having conceded an early penalty.
Payet will be in action again for the French as they face the Netherlands this evening, but Irons fans will likely be watching on and keeping their fingers crossed that he can avoid any kind of injury with a vital run of fixtures coming up as the club seek to climb out of the relegation zone.
Midfielder Joey Barton has also revealed in his autobiography that he came close to signing for the Hammers before a social media backlash saw the club pull out of the deal at the last minute in 2015. He revealed:
Slaven Bilic was impressive. He spoke in detail about where he saw me playing for him, and gave me a summary of my strengths. I trained with the team for a couple of days. I even successfully completed a medical. Somewhere in cyberspace it all fell apart. A vocal minority of West Ham fans reacted like they were about to be represented by a serial killer.
The now Rangers midfielder, currently banned from his team’s training ground amid a fall out and subject to an investigation into gambling, also claims that he nearly joined the club when Alan Curbishley was in charge, only instead opting to join Newcastle as they offered more money. On reflection, it seems that the club may have dodged a bullet here.
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