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And then there were four…which candidate do you want for West Ham United manager’s job?

When does no actually mean maybe? Perhaps when an opportunity arises to manage a Premier League team for a much bigger chunk of cash than your currently manage a national side. It’s clear who West Ham’s number one target is to replace Alan Curbishley, although do they stand a chance of luring him to the Boleyn Ground?

The Guardian report that a revised shortlist of four names has been drawn up, with Slaven Bilic included, despite asserting that he is to honour his contract with Croatia, which runs to 2010. Surely this is therefore the man that the club want to lead the team forward, although even if he does agree in principle to take over, he’ll surely not want people meddling with transfers behind his back!

The Premier League club’s technical director, Gianluca Nani, and the chief executive, Scott Duxbury, each met and were impressed by Gianfranco Zola over the weekend in Italy and intend to speak to the former Getafe manager, Michael Laudrup, today in London. Talks took place with Roberto Donadoni, Italy’s coach at Euro 2008, last week. Yet, despite contact with Bilic having only been made through intermediaries, the club’s hierarchy still believe the Croatia coach is keen to be considered.

West Ham have privately admitted to being frustrated at Bilic’s apparent reluctance to meet them face to face, they need to ascertain whether or not he will be able to free himself from his contract before January… though they are satisfied having spoken with the 39-year-old’s agents that their client is interested in the position. It says much for the esteem in which Bilic is held at the Boleyn Ground that the club’s hierarchy are willing to bend their own criteria in order to consider the Croatian on their whittled down shortlist.

West Ham fans, do you think Bilic would be the right choice, despite having no club management experience? It’s impressive that they have such high-calibre candidates who are interested in the job, and Michael Laudrup has done extremely well at Getafe and could just be the man that the Hammers go for if they don’t land the Croatian instead.

More Stories gianfranco zola michael laudrup Roberto Donadoni slaven bilic West Ham FC