West Ham favourite Slaven Bilic to leave Besiktas
Last Updated: 25/05/15 9:45pm
Slaven Bilic fuelled speculation he could succeed Sam Allardyce as West Ham manager after confirming he will leave Besiktas at the end of the season.
Allardyce was informed his contract with West Ham would not be renewed just minutes after the club’s defeat at Newcastle in their final game of the season on Sunday.
Former West Ham defender Bilic was already odds-on favourite to replace Allardyce before he announced next weekend’s match will be his last for the Turkish giants.
Bilic made the announcement following his team's 0-2 loss to Istanbul rivals Galatasaray on Sunday night, which means his side can only finish third in the Super Lig.
"Of course a decision has been taken. You know that decision already. Of course I will not continue as coach of Besiktas," he was quoted by Turkish media.
"I take all responsibility on myself. Besiktas begins each season with the target of being champions and for the two seasons we have not been champions. There are reasons but the primary responsibility is mine.”
Bilic arrived in Istanbul two seasons ago from Lokomotiv Moscow and became a hugely popular figure among the club's famously left-leaning and anti-establishment fans.
The high point of his season was a thrilling win against Liverpool in the Europa League, but the club was then knocked out in the next round and its Super Lig bid faltered badly in the final games of the season.
Particularly damaging for Bilic was the fact the club lost every single derby match to its main Istanbul rivals Galatasaray and Fenerbahce in one season for the first time.
The former Croatia coach was a fans favourite during his one-and-a-half seasons spent at Upton Park during the 1990's and would be a popular appointment for many of the club’s supporters.
Real Socidad boss David Moyes has also been linked with the Hammers along with Sevilla manager Unai Emery.