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Claims of Rafa Benitez for West Ham resurface, yet again

3 weeks ago
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Rafa Benitez has yet again been linked with the West Ham job.

Newspaper reports claiming that if Manuel Pellegrini gets the push, the Hammers are set to go for the former Newcastle boss.

West Ham have five defeats and two draws in their last seven games, including a 4-0 hammering at Oxford in the League Cup and  3-2 home defeat to Newcastle.

The East London club have significantly backed the manager after he arrived last summer, allowing him to spend around £160m on players these past 18 months.

It was first claimed in 2015 that Rafa Benitez was going to join West Ham, only for Real  Madrid to take the Spaniard on.

Rumours have surfaced since and there was widespread coverage in May 2018 when it was reported by Sky Sports and others that Rafa was going to move to the Hammers due to Mike Ashley refusing to back him.

A poll of almost 5,000 West Ham fans saw Rafa by far the most popular choice to replace David Moyes with 42% choosing him from a list of names, with Unai Emery on 16% the second highest, before Arsenal appointed him.

However, the 22 May 2018 saw Manuel Pellegrini appointed (see below).

He was allowed a net spend of £72m in the summer 2018 window, whilst Rafa Benitez was forced to make a £20m+ profit by Mike Ashley.

Now The Mirror claim West Ham are finally set to get their man, if Pellegrini doesn’t suddenly start winning AND they can convince Rafa to return to the Premier League.

Plenty newspaper headlines will be filled if that did happen.

The league season ends in China on 1 December, when Rafa Benitez will have two full seasons left on his contract.

Never say never I suppose.

The Mag – 22 May 2018:

‘West Ham have now finally confirmed Manuel Pellegrini as their new manager.

After David Moyes was shown the door, many West Ham fans believed that they could land Rafa Benitez.

With the Spaniard in a stand-off with Mike Ashley over transfer budget and so far refusing to sign an extended contract, Hammers supporters thought they could take advantage.

A poll of thousands of West Ham fans had seen Rafa Benitez the overwhelming favourite to follow Moyes, with soon to be unveiled Arsenal boss Unai Emery a distant second choice with just less than 16% support.

When David Sullivan declared ‘We are preparing to appoint a manager who has a proven record of success at the highest level of the game’, the West Ham fanbase automatically hoped it was Rafa Benitez and indeed, he became the bookies favourite at that point.

With two La Liga titles, one Champions League (and runners up in the comp as well), two Europa Leagues and an FA Cup triumph in his career, Rafa fitted that description

However, Hammers fans have instead discovered it is Manuel Pellegrini, who has only won one Premier League and one League Cup in his managing days in Europe and those successes were with money no object Man City.’

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