Bookmaker installs Newcastle’s Rafa Benitez as favourite to take over at West Ham

Rafa Benitez
Rafa Benitez

Rafa Benitez is the favourite to become West Ham United’s next manager.

One bookmaker is taking bets on the identity of the club’s next boss – even though Slaven Bilic is still in his post.

Paddy Power have installed the Newcastle United manager as the 5/2 favourite to succeed Bilic, who is under pressure at the London Stadium after his team made a losing start to the new Premier League campaign.

Roberto Mancini is the 7/2 second-favourite.

Benitez came close to taking the West Ham job before being appointed Real Madrid manager two years ago, and the 57-year-old still has a good relationship with David Sullivan, the club’s co-owner.

Benitez spoke about his future last month.

“My aim is trying to improve things, so when I leave, whenever it is, I would like to be sure that the team and the football club will be better,” said Benitez.

“Normally, managers talk about projects saying they need four or five years.

“I’m not talking about that, because you never know in football.

“I’m sure we have improved some things, but we need to improve more.”