Slaven Bilic has distanced himself from the vacant managerial position at Upton Park, but has hinted that he would like to manage the club in the future.
The Croatia boss, who will meet England in the 2010 World Cup qualifying campaign later this month, gathered even more admirers following a solid showing at Euro 2008 and is considered a world class manager in the making.
"I always said that, if I come back to English football, I want it to be as manager of West Ham," He said yesterday, as reported in The Guardian.
But, as always, there is a small matter of a contract that he is tied to.
"I have a contract with Croatia until 2010 and intend to honour it." I’ve no doubt that Bilic will one day manage West Ham but there is no way that he will walk out of this Croatia job to take over at Upton Park. In 2010 perhaps, but he would be even madder than I remember if he took over at West Ham now.
The club have no money, the manager no longer makes the decisions; if Curbishley walked out through fear of damaging his reputation, then why would one of the hottest talents in the managerial world risk his by taking over the reigns. He doesn’t understand the world of Premier League management and would certainly want a summer transfer window and pre-season in order to get accustomed to the modern English game. And despite him spending many years in England, Kevin Keegan is just the latest case study of somebody who thought that they could return as if nothing has changed.
Naturally, Harry Redknapp has been linked with the job and, naturally, he has distanced himself from it. Is it a problem at West Ham that they never stray too far from the beaten track when it comes to managers? Will the next appointment be out of left field? Who would the fans like to see take over?
Is Bilic a realistic option at this point?