SAM Allardyce has described talk linking him with the Sunderland job in the summer as “pure speculation”.
Allardyce quickly became one of the leading names with the bookmakers to replace Gus Poyet at the Stadium of Light when the Uruguayan was sacked on Monday.
Sunderland appointed Dick Advocaat as head coach on a deal which runs until the summer, when it was suggested by some that West Ham boss Allardyce, whose current contract runs out after this season, could take over.
With the bookmakers, Allardyce is second-favourite – behind Advocaat – to be named Sunderland’s next full-time boss.
However, responding to those rumours, the former Newcastle United manager said: “Pure speculation.
“I’m West Ham manager and I’m contracted to West Ham and don’t expect anything other than somewhere along the line we’ll be talking about a contract here.”
When asked if he expected to be at West Ham next season, he added: “If that contract is right, yes.”
Allardyce’s West Ham host Sunderland on Saturday in Advocaat’s first game in charge of the Black Cats.
The Hammers have won just once in their last 12 games in the Premier League, and have suffered with injuries recently.
Allardyce added: “We can’t feel sorry for ourselves as every team has injuries at some time in the season and it’s about overcoming that.
“We’ve had a challenging run of fixtures and we should have taken more points than we did, which would have put us in a fantastic position.
“The bottom line is playing fantastic is great but not winning is critical.”