English Premiership

Hammers owner reveals failed Benitez bid

2015-12-28 17:28
Rafa Benitez (AFP)

London - West Ham co-owner David Sullivan claims his Premier League club were two hours away from appointing Rafael Benitez as their new manager before he took over at Real Madrid.

Former Liverpool and Chelsea boss Benitez was on the verge of signing a deal to succeed Sam Allardyce at Upton Park earlier this year before he agreed to take charge of Spanish side Real.

West Ham were also interested in Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp, who was available during the close-season after leaving Borussia Dortmund, but ultimately settled on former Hammers defender Slaven Bilic, who had been in charge of the Croatia national team.

"We were two hours from getting Benitez and then Real came in," Sullivan told Sky Sports on Monday.

"We had agreed a contract and everything."

Benitez's reign in Madrid has been turbulent, with supporters calling for him and club president Florentino Perez to go after they were thrashed 4-0 by arch rivals Barcelona in Madrid last month.

In spite of that, Sullivan would have had no reservations about bringing Benitez to Upton Park in the future.

"He is a top manager, whatever anybody says, and I think he'd have done a wonderful job for us," Sullivan said.

"We tried (Jurgen) Klopp as well but he wouldn't come because he said he wanted a break. But I'm glad with the manager we have got."


Read News24’s Comments Policy

Friday, 28 February 2020
Norwich City v Leicester City, Carrow Road 22:00
Saturday, 29 February 2020
Aston Villa v Sheffield United, Villa Park 02:00
Brighton & Hove Albion v Crystal Palace, The American Express Community Stadium 14:30
West Ham United v Southampton, London Stadium 17:00
Newcastle United v Burnley, St. James' Park 17:00
AFC Bournemouth v Chelsea, Vitality Stadium 17:00
Watford v Liverpool, Vicarage Road 19:30
Sunday, 01 March 2020
Manchester City v Arsenal, Etihad Stadium 02:00
Everton v Manchester United, Goodison Park 16:00
Tottenham Hotspur v Wolverhampton Wanderers, Tottenham Hotspur Stadium 16:00
Team P W PTS
Previous Results

Date Home Team Result Away Team

And the 2019/20 English Premiership champions will be ... ?

Love 2 Meet
Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter


The 2019/20 Absa Premiership season is in full swing. Will Mamelodi Sundowns retain their title? Or can one of Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates, Wits, SuperSport United - or another team perhaps - snatch glory from the Brazilians? Be sure to visit Sport24 for all the latest news!

Latest blogs

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.