Managerless West Ham United have put out the feelers for Martin O’Neill again — and once again they appear to have been rebuffed.
According to club sources, however, the Ulsterman remains top of the relegated club’s short list to take over from Avram Grant.
And it is understood Hammers co-owner David Sullivan will try a third time to persuade him to accept the task of guiding them back to the Barclays Premier League.
Kilrea-born O'Neill, who has been out of a job since leaving Aston Villa in August last year, was far from amused when West Ham made a very public attempt to appoint him in January — while Grant was still in the manager’s chair.
The club have promised their fans that a new man will be appointed by the end of this month — and that he will be British.
Former Northern Ireland captain O’Neill is currently focused on settling his dispute with Villa over his departure, and a Premier League managers’ arbitration panel is due to hear the case this week.
Sullivan, meanwhile, says he is “amused” that two managers have moved to rule themselves out of the running, when they hadn’t been considered in the first place.
It’s believed he was referring to Steve McClaren and Gus Poyet.