Belfast Telegraph

Grant set for West Ham job

West Ham are expected to name Avram Grant as their new manager today after concluding their search for Gianfranco Zola's successor.

The club released a statement yesterday revealing they will make a formal announcement over the identity of their new boss within the next 24 hours.

Co-chairman David Gold has indicated that Grant, who left Portsmouth nearly two weeks ago, is on the brink of taking over at Upton Park.

“After an hour, we knew we could work with this manager. We are very optimistic,” Gold said.

“I think it's time for the football club to get some stability with people that have been there, done that and got the T-shirt.

“The bottom line is the relationship between the manager and the chairman is critical.

“In our case it's two chairmen so it's even more difficult as you need to have a relationship between three people.”

Zola steered West Ham to safety with 35 points, enough to keep them one place above the relegation zone, but was sacked soon after.

The Hammers were saved by the shortcomings of the teams below them as much as their own efforts, prompting Gold and fellow co-chairman David Sullivan to act. Grant took Chelsea to the Champions League final in 2008 but was shown the door after the defeat by Manchester United.

The 55-year-old Israeli returned to the Barclays Premier League with Portsmouth last year, first as director of football and then as manager following the removal of Paul Hart.

His success in leading Portsmouth, who were placed into administration, to the FA Cup final amid severe financial constraints won universal approval.

Now West Ham view him as the man to usher in more harmonious times at Upton Park.

“We can't put our fans through what happened this again.

“We want to put together a team that was better than last year,” said Gold.

“We were very fortunate. Normally 35 points gets you relegated. What we need is a manager who has achieved, has experience. We are not in a position where we can take on young, inexperienced managers.

“We did ask Franco to keep us up and he did that, but I think we need to move on from that. New owners like to choose their own people.”

In a statement on the official website, West Ham revealed the incoming manager will be followed by several new recruits.

“West Ham United will make a formal announcement of the club's new manager within the next 24 hours,” the statement read.

“The club have been conducting a thorough recruitment programme in recent weeks and made excellent progress after considering a number of candidates.”

West Ham also confirmed midfielder Luis Boa Morte has been offered a new contract, with his current deal due to run out on June 30. Guillermo Franco, Ilan and Mido will be leaving.

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