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West Ham set to move for Newcastle boss Benitez

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Newcastle United manager Rafael Benitez, pictured in August 2017, downplayed the fight between his players Jamaal Lascelles and Mohamed Diame, saying he had seen worse

LONDON, United Kingdom, May 17 – West Ham are planning on making a move for Newcastle United manager Rafa Benitez.

The Spaniard almost became Hammers boss in the summer of 2015 before they were gazumped by Real Madrid.

West Ham co-owner David Sullivan remains on good terms with Benitez.

Benitez is believed to have a £6m release clause in his Newcastle contract and wants assurances about his transfer budget before committing his long-term future to the club.

The 58-year-old remains in discussions over a contract extension in the north-east, as his present deal has only 12 months left to run.

Benitez has earned plaudits for guiding the Magpies to an impressive 10th-place finish in the Premier League, capped by a 3-0 romp against Chelsea on the final day.

Sky Sports News also reported on Wednesday that West Ham had met with representatives of former Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini, although it is understood wages are a major stumbling block.

The Hammers confirmed earlier in the day that David Moyes would not return to his role as manager following the expiration of his six-month deal.

Hammers co-owner David Sullivan said: “We aim to appoint a high-calibre figure who we feel will lead the club into an exciting future for our loyal supporters within the next 10 days.”

West Ham are also interested in Paulo Fonseca, manager of Ukrainian club Shakhtar Donetsk.

-By Sky Sports

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