West Ham chairman: Benitez set for London before Real Madrid called

AP Photo/Salvatore Laporta
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How close is West Ham to Real Madrid? Apparently, two hours and a phone call.

Current Real Madrid coach Rafa Benitez was basically headed to the Boleyn Ground, signed but not delivered, when Florentino Perez’s Spanish outfit stepped into the fray.

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And, apparently, when Real comes calling, you say yes regardless of pen and paper.

From the BBC:

West Ham were “two hours” away from appointing Rafael Benitez as manager in the summer before hiring Slaven Bilic, Hammers co-owner David Sullivan says.

“We were two hours from getting Benitez and then Real Madrid came in.We had agreed a contract,” Sullivan said.

Sullivan also claims the Hammers went after Jurgen Klopp before deciding on current boss Slaven Bilic. After a hot start, West Ham is 10th in the table with 26 points.

Would Benitez have done much better? Hard to say, but both teams are about where you’d expect them as the calendar hits 2016, which suggests that it’s always more about “Jims and Joes than X’s and O’s”.