Former Manchester United boss David Moyes could be appointed West Ham manager as soon as Tuesday after the club brought a premature end to Slaven Bilic’s tenure on Monday.
Bilic was fired with eight months remaining on his three-year contract after Saturday’s dispiriting 4-1 home defeat by Liverpool left the Hammers in the Premier League relegation zone.
Moyes confirmed his interest in the post on Sunday and is widely expected to take charge imminently on a short-term deal, tasked with turning around the club’s season.
But the Scot’s anticipated arrival risks dividing supporters, with Moyes enduring underwhelming spells in his last three positions and attracting criticism last season for joking that he would slap a female reporter.
“We see this as an exciting opportunity to appoint a quality manager to the position to inject fresh ideas, organisation and enthusiasm into a very talented squad,” said co-chairmen David Sullivan and David Gold.
Bilic’s backroom staff have also departed, except for goalkeeping coach Chris Woods, who also worked under Moyes at Everton and United.
Moyes has been out of management since May, when he quit Sunderland after one doomed season in charge that ended with relegation from the top flight to the Championship.
Prior to that he had an ill-fated 12-month stint at Spanish outfit Real Sociedad, which largely failed to revive his reputation following a solitary season at Old Trafford.
The 54-year-old earned the role of Sir Alex Ferguson’s successor with 11 years at Everton in which he carved out a reputation as an astute and disciplined operator.
He faces the challenge of revitalising a West Ham team who have lost six of their 11 league games this season, winning just twice.
Bilic called the club’s decision to sack him “logical”, adding: “I am sad and disappointed but not in the club; I expected it, to be fair. There are no hard feelings. I am going to be, especially when some time goes by, very proud of my work here.”
Sullivan and Gold said Bilic had fallen short of expectations following the high-profile close season signings of Marko Arnautovic, Javier Hernandez and Joe Hart.
“During the summer, the board invested heavily signing the players Slaven believed would complete the squad he needed to push the club back towards the level we had reached in his first season, and we believe we have the players capable of doing that,” they said.
“Sadly, performances and results have not been of the expected standard and, in recent weeks, we have not seen enough indication of the required improvement to give us the encouragement that things would change and we would meet our Premier League aspirations this season.”