Manuel Pellegrini sacked: David Moyes hot favourite to take over at West Ham for remainder of season

David Moyes is the hot favourite to succeed Manuel Pellegrini at West Ham, talkSPORT understands.

The 56-year-old Scot is close to a agreeing a return to the Hammers, who he steered to Premier League safety after signing a short-term deal with the club until to the end of the 2017/18 season.

Moyes is the frontrunner to take over at West Ham

Moyes is the frontrunner to take over at West Ham

The former Everton and Manchester United boss took charge when the Hammers were in the bottom three and after leading them to a 13th-placed finish hinted he wanted to stay beyond his six-month contract.

But despite achieving what he had been hired to do, Moyes never appeared likely to be long-term manager.

Other names who have been linked with the post is Rafael Benitez, who is currently in charge of Chinese Super League side Dalian Yifang.

Benitez has made no secret of his desire to return to the Premier League. His departure from Newcastle at the end of his contract in June was met with disdain by the Toon Army and the Spaniard could be tempted into a swift return to the UK as his family are still based in the north west.

Pellegrini finally paid the price for West Ham’s alarming slump after he was sacked following the 2-1 defeat by Leicester.

With the Hammers a point above the drop zone and facing a crunch match with fellow strugglers Bournemouth on New Year’s Day, joint-chairmen David Sullivan and David Gold swung the axe.

Pellegrini has been sacked by West Ham

Getty Images – Getty

Pellegrini has been sacked by West Ham

Sullivan said: “It is with great disappointment that we’ve had to make this decision. Manuel is a gentleman and it has been a real pleasure to work with someone of his calibre.

“However, it has become clear that that a change is required to get the club back on track in line with our ambitions this season.

“We felt it was necessary to act now in order to give the new manager as much time as possible to try and achieve that goal.”