West Ham United have been heavily linked with Rafa Benitez in recent weeks.

The Hammers looked to have turned a corner with a superb 1-0 win at Chelsea at the weekend.

But Manuel Pellegrini’s side were brought crashing back down to earth with defeat at Wolves on Wednesday night.

As a result Pellegrini’s respite from speculation over his future lasted just four days.

Photo by Serena Taylor Newcastle United via Getty Images

Pellegrini facing the axe?

The Chilean’s future has once again been the subject of intense speculation.

The likes of Rafa Benitez (Daily Mail) and Eddie Howe (Football Insider) have been linked as replacements.

Reports claim Pellegrini has been given the Arsenal and Southampton games to turn things around.

 

Read: Insider speaks out on Manuel Pellegrini’s West Ham future after sobering Wolves defeat

Benitez, currently managing Dalian Yifang in China, was the strong favourite to replace Pellegrini not so long ago.

But his name has dropped out of the equation all of a sudden.

Photo by Visual China Group via Getty Images

Benitez drops out of West Ham frame

The Spaniard is not even on the list of potential candidates with said to be in the running.

And now a new report from Italy seems to explain why.

According to respected Italian football journalist Nicola Schira, Benitez is trying to lure his former Napoli attacker Jose Callejon to join him in China.

Photo by Marco Luzzani Getty Images

Rafa transfer plan suggests he is staying in China

Schira will be well known to West Ham fans after breaking the news about Sebastien Haller’s £45million move to East London before anyone else.

Now the reporter has claimed Benitez is pushing a huge £8million per year move for the Napoli attacker.

The news has also been reported by Football Italia.

With the Chinese Super League season done and dusted that would suggest Benitez does not plan on leaving anytime soon.

Eddie Howe is now the favourite to take over should Pellegrini be axed.

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