Rafael Benitez ready to take the West Ham job as board consider sacking Manuel Pellegrini

Rafael Benitez is ready to accept West Ham’s SOS call with Manuel Pellegrini close to the sack.

The Hammers board are ready to pull the trigger on Pellegrini and want Benitez to take over.

And, according to the Mirror, Benitez is ready to take the job – after nearly taking it in 2015 before Real Madrid came calling.

The Spaniard is believed to be keen on a move to east London despite his £12m a year salary in China after leaving Newcastle last summer.

And the call may not be far away after a turbulent start to the season at the London Stadium.

West Ham face Tottenham this weekend in a showdown that could the manager with the wrong result getting the boot as pressure is also growing on Mauricio Pochettino.

West Ham though are thinking about changing their manager after a rocky period which sees them go into the weekend in 16th after 12 games.

They have just 13 points from 12 games and haven’t won in their last five.

Hammers chiefs backed Pellegrini in the summer and are disappointed with the return so far.

And Tottenham could increase the pressure as they look to get out of a slump of their own.

Tottenham find themselves in 14th – just two spots higher than West Ham and only a point better off – amid talk of Pochettino getting the boot.

Reports emerged overnight that Tottenham have drawn up a shortlist of potential replacements as they consider making a change.

It has come to the point where many Tottenham insiders believe it is a matter of “when” not “if” the 47-year-old will leave the club.

While one source told the Daily Mail that it appears “impossible” that Pochettino will see through the season despite his contract which runs until 2023.

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