West Ham to make approach for Avram Grant

West Ham will make their move for Portsmouth boss Avram Grant
immediately after Saturday’s FA Cup final.

GettyImages

Avram Grant has impressed at Fratton Park

West
Ham are searching for a new manager after sacking Gianfranco Zola on
Tuesday, and co-owners David Sullivan and David Gold have identified
Grant as one of the top contenders to replace him.

Grant’s
candidacy for the job, and the fact that Zola would be axed, was first
mooted by Soccernet last month.

Grant will be in pole
position and Soccernet has also disclosed that Pompey
administrator Andrew Andronikou is aware of the Hammers’ interest and
that he is powerless to stop Grant leaving for Upton Park.

Grant
has a break-off clause in his current contract and he is free to leave
this summer, although Andronikou would fight to persuade Grant to stay,
which is very unlikely. Grant will be interviewed after Pompey’s final
match of a remarkable soap opera all season when they take on champions
Chelsea at Wembley Stadium.

The indications are that Grant will
accept the post, if, after a series of interviews, the Hammers opt for
the one-time Chelsea boss.

Sullivan and Gold have been impressed
by the way in which Grant has taken Pompey to the FA Cup final as the
beleaguered club’s debts spiralled to £139 million. They took control of
West Ham in January when the debt was £110 million, but they have
lowered it to £95 million, and they need to bring in five new players on
a shoestring.

Grant is seen as the ideal man to juggle the needs
of the team and the precarious financial situation at Upton Park, but
Sullivan and Gold wish to interview the other candidates, which include
Mark Hughes and Slaven Bilic, before making up their mind. Soccernet
understands that an appointment will not be rushed until they go
through this process.

Although Hughes and Bilic have been
publically ruled out of the race, both managers have privately indicated
they will think it over, and might decide to be interviewed. Martin Jol
is another strong candidate, but Glenn Hoddle, who has been among the
favourites, is well down the wanted list.

Grant is in pole
position once the FA Cup final has passed and, if he impresses in the
interview, he could land the job.

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