WEST HAM could turn to Rafa Benitez if they decide to sack Manuel Pellegrini, according to reports.
The Hammers are seriously considering axing the Chilean after no wins in six leaves them languishing in 16th.
Reports claim another defeat to rivals Tottenham this weekend could seal his fate.
And it appears the hierarchy are already making plans for his replacement and believe they could convince Benitez to make a swift return to the Premier League.
Benitez, 59, is currently managing Chinese side Dalian Yifang after his Newcastle contract expired in the summer.
The former Liverpool and Chelsea boss is currently pocketing a £12million-a-year fortune in the Far East.
Benitez is a long-term target of West Ham and they made an approach to appoint him in 2015.
Just last week the Spaniard admitted that he will return to England because his family still live there.
He told BBC Radio Five Live: “In the future I will come back to England, my family is there.
“I am happy, it is not like I would like to go back right now.
“But in the future, yes. At the moment I am working hard here.”
Unlike his time at Newcastle, Benitez knows he will be backed in the transfer market and will be given time to achieve the club’s ambitions of becoming a top six side.