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.
Pellegrini facing the axe?
Reports claim Pellegrini has been given the Arsenal and Southampton games to turn things around.
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.
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.
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.
Aria di addio già a gennaio tra Josè Maria #Callejon e il #Napoli. Lo spagnolo è attratto dall’offerta del maestro #Benitez (i cinesi del #DalianYifang offrono biennale da 10 milioni netti a stagione). Per sostituirlo piace per l’estate Jeremie #Boga (Sassuolo). #calciomercato
— Nicolò Schira (@NicoSchira) December 5, 2019
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.