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West Ham set to move for Newcastle boss Rafael Benitez

Newcastle manager Rafael Benitez
Image: Rafael Benitez replaced Steve McClaren at Newcastle in March 2016

West Ham are planning on making a move for Newcastle United manager Rafa Benitez, according to Sky sources.

The Spaniard almost became Hammers boss in the summer of 2015 before they were gazumped by Real Madrid.

West Ham co-owner David Sullivan remains on good terms with Benitez.

Benitez is believed to have a £6m release clause in his Newcastle contract and wants assurances about his transfer budget before committing his long-term future to the club.

The 58-year-old remains in discussions over a contract extension in the north-east, as his present deal has only 12 months left to run.

Benitez has earned plaudits for guiding the Magpies to an impressive 10th-place finish in the Premier League, capped by a 3-0 romp against Chelsea on the final day.

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Former West Ham captain Kevin Nolan believes the club needs to find the 'people's choice' to replace David Moyes

Sky Sports News also reported on Wednesday that West Ham had met with representatives of former Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini, although it is understood wages are a major stumbling block.

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The Hammers confirmed earlier in the day that David Moyes would not return to his role as manager following the expiration of his six-month deal.

Hammers co-owner David Sullivan said: "We aim to appoint a high-calibre figure who we feel will lead the club into an exciting future for our loyal supporters within the next 10 days."

West Ham are also interested in Paulo Fonseca, manager of Ukrainian club Shakhtar Donetsk.

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