Bilic - Hammers not for me
Former player rules out replacing Zola at Upton Park
Last Updated: 28/03/10 11:45am
Bilic: Wants to stay with Croatia
Slaven Bilic has ruled himself out of the running to become West Ham United's next manager, insisting he will not walk out on Croatia.
"I love West Ham very much, but that job is not for me right now. Not today."
Slaven Bilic. Quotes of the week
Former Hammers defender Bilic has been heavily linked with the Upton Park position should current incumbent Gianfranco Zola leave his post.
Zola is considering his future in the hot seat after Saturday's 1-0 home defeat by Stoke City left West Ham only outside the Premier League relegation zone on goal difference.
Hammers co-owner David Gold has offered his support to the Italian and has stressed the club are not looking to make a managerial change for the final six games of the season.
But reports have suggested that Gold, and fellow owner David Sullivan, want Croatia coach Bilic to take over the reins in the summer.
Bilic, though, has stated that it is not the right time to become West Ham boss as he wants to lead Croatia through the 2012 European Championship qualifying campaign.
"I love West Ham very much, but that job is not for me right now," Bilic, who played for the club in the mid-1990s, told the Daily Star Sunday. "Not today.
"I want to qualify for the European Championships and nothing is going to change that.
"I am staying for all my country's qualifiers."