Newly-appointed West Ham United manager Slaven Bilic has told The Sun that Harry Redknapp encouraged him to return to Upton Park.
Bilic, 46, was named the new West Ham manager earlier this week, signing a three-year deal to return to East London - over 18 years since he left the club as a player.
The Croatian spent just over a year at West Ham in his playing days, becoming a fan favourite before moving on to Everton and eventually back to his homeland with Hajduk Split.
The man who brought him to England was of course Harry Redknapp, who snapped Bilic up from German side Karlsruhe in January 1996, and the pair have stayed in touch over the years, as Bilic has revealed to The Sun.
Bilic says that, because Redknapp was managing four Croatian players at Tottenham whilst Bilic was in charge of the Croatian national team, the two would speak about the quartet of Niko Kranjcar, Luka Modric, Vedran Corluka and Stipe Pletikosa.
Bilic has also revealed that Redknapp told him that he must head back to Upton Park as manager during those conversations - and now he has fulfilled that dream this week.
"I’ve not yet spoken to him. But of course I’m going to speak to H," said Bilic. "We spoke many times when I was Croatia coach," said Bilic. "He had four of my players at Tottenham. Nico Kranjcar, Vedran Corluka, Stipe Pletikosa and Luka Modric. He said publicly many times in 2008 or 2010 that 'Slaven must go there'. He always gave me encouragement and he told me ‘You have to go to West Ham, it’s your club,'" he added.