West Ham United co-chairman David Sullivan has told The Guardian that the club were two hours from appointing Rafael Benitez over the summer.
The Hammers parted company with former boss Sam Allardyce just minutes after losing 2-0 to Newcastle United on the final day of last season, with a new, more ambitious idea in place.
Eventually, West Ham appointed their former defender Slaven Bilic as their new manager, with the Croatian returning to Upton Park for their final season there, before the move to the Olympic Stadium next summer.
Bilic has fared well so far, and whilst he is currently on an eight-game winless run, that is largely down to a shock spate of injuries, and with wins over Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester City this term, fans have taken to Bilic well so far.
Now though, co-chairman David Sullivan has opened up about the process of finding a manager, and revealed that West Ham targeted two huge names.
Speaking to The Guardian, Sullivan has claimed that West Ham were 'two hours away' from appointing Rafael Benitez - who won the Champions League with Liverpool back in 2005 - before Real Madrid swooped in and made him their manager.
Sullivan also revealed that West Ham made an approach to now-Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp following his departure from Borussia Dortmund, but the German wanted a break from management.
"We were two hours from getting Benítez and then Real came in. We had agreed a contract and everything," said Sullivan. "He is a top manager whatever anybody says and I think he’d have done a wonderful job for us. We tried [Jürgen] Klopp as well but he wouldn’t come because he said he wanted a break. But I’m glad with the manager we have got," he added.
Would you have preferred Benitez or Klopp to Bilic?