Rafa Benitez has rejected an approach to become the new West Ham manager, according to Football Insider.
It is understood that the Irons have sounded the 59-year-old out twice previously about taking on a role in east London, but he has remained resolute and turned down a fresh offer to take charge should Pellegrini shown the exit door.
This is probably a big blow for the Hammers, who clearly have a longstanding interest in the Spaniard. It’s not hard to see why either. This is a Champions League winner who has had success pretty much anywhere he has turned up, and did a fantastic job of keeping Newcastle United, a fellow underperforming sleeping giant of the English game, on the straight and narrow. That being said, it always felt like getting Benitez in was a bit of a long shot for the Hammers. After all, he has only just signed a deal over in China, and you get the impression that he is a man of principles and loyalty. Perhaps somewhere down the line this could happen, but the timing was always going to be an issue. As for Pellegrini, this surely spells trouble. If the club are looking for replacements then it’s not unreasonable to assume that time is definitely running out for the Chilean.