Slaven Bilic confident he will get West Ham job

Former Croatia manager waits in wings but Marcelo Bielsa remains first choice

Slaven Bilic

is confident he will be confirmed as West Ham United’s manager within the next 48 hours, although the success of his application may actually hinge on the club’s current first choice,

Marcelo Bielsa

, signing a contract extension with Marseille.


The London club's co-owners, David Gold and David Sullivan, and the vice-chairman, Karren Brady, interviewed Bilic over the weekend, with the 46-year-old having made clear his desire to return to the club with whom he spent 18 months as a player.


The super-agent Pini Zahavi is undertaking the negotiations on the Croatian’s behalf and with discussions ongoing, the former centre-back is increasingly hopeful he will secure the position vacated by Sam Allardyce last month .

Yet, while a number of other high-profile targets have proved elusive, there remains the possibility West Ham could still persuade Bielsa to depart Stade Vélodrome to take up the challenge in the Premier League.

The Argentinian has been offered a two-year extension by Marseille, with whom he finished fourth in Ligue 1 after a difficult second half to the campaign, and was due to speak to the club's president, Vincent Labrune, last night. Those talks were expected to determine whether he was to extend his stay in France to a second season.

The Croatian is aware he has never been first choice for the position, not least because his experience of coaching at club level is limited largely to brief spells at Besiktas and Lokomotiv Moscow.

More eye-catching was his impact with Croatia and while his pursuit of the role may effectively boil down to others rejecting the chance to take over, he hopes his affinity with West Ham from his playing days ultimately sways negotiations in his favour.

Meanwhile, Ireland goalkeeper Darren Randolph will join West Ham on a free transfer when his contract at Birmingham City expires later this month. Guardian Service