Slaven Bilic refuses to deny talks over replacing West Ham boss Allardyce this summer

Upton Park

Besiktas manager Slaven Bilic has refused to rule out the possibility of moving back to West Ham this summer.

Besiktas face a daunting Europa League tie with Liverpool, beginning with Thursday's clash at Anfield before the Reds travel to Turkey next week.

The Super Lig leaders do have a number of familiar faces at their disposal though, including ex-Chelsea and Arsenal youngsters Gokhan Tore and Oguzhan Ozyakup, as well as striker Demba Ba, who was prolific in the Premier League during spells with West Ham, Newcastle United and Chelsea.

They are certainly underdogs in this tie, but have a passionate and charismatic manager in Slaven Bilic who is no strange to Merseyside having spent time with Everton during his playing career.

The 46-year-old is best known for guiding Croatia past England in the Euro 2008 qualifying stages, but is now impressing in club football in Turkey.

His exploits with Besiktas are reportedly attracting interest though, with The Telegraph reporting on Tuesday that West Ham wanted to bring him back to Upton Park as a replacement for Sam Allardyce, with Bilic also having played for the Hammers as a defender in the 1990's.

Allardyce is out of contract at the end of this season, and after co-chairman David Sullivan told the London Evening Standard that there are no scheduled talks for a renewal, speculation is gathering pace that Bilic could be his replacement - and in his pre-match press conference ahead of the Liverpool game, Bilic refused to deny that talks have been held with West Ham, as reported by the Daily Express.

"All I can say is that I am really happy at Besiktas," Bilic said. "If it’s true I don’t know at all. So I don’t think about it. The speculation doesn’t affect me in a negative way. But I'm trying not to talk about it.

"We are concentrating on our next game. I would rather talk about the game. I am totally concentrated on that. Have West Ham contacted me? I wouldn’t like to talk about that, and that’s it," he added.

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