Avram Grant named new manager of West Ham
Avram Grant is the new manager of West Ham United - subject to the formalities of a work permit.
West Ham insiders have confirmed to Soccernet that Grant has been appointed as the successor to Gianfranco Zola, who was sacked two weeks ago.
Soccernet understands that Grant held a private meeting with the Hammers' board on Thursday to cement his three year, £3 million contract. The official announcement is being delayed purely due to the wait for a new work permit to be issued for the job at Upton Park.
A West Ham insider confirmed to Soccernet: "Avram Grant will be appointed manager subject to the club gaining his work permit, which takes time, but should be a formality."
Grant was wanted by half a dozen clubs in Europe, but has chosen West Ham and an instant return to the Premier League after relegation with FA Cup finalists Portsmouth.
Grant's name was first linked to the West Ham job on Soccernet.
Grant quickly rose to take the position despite candidates such as Mark Hughes, Slaven Bilic and Steve McClaren being in the frame.
McClaren opted to switch from Dutch to German football with Wolfsburg, while Hughes believed he would attract a much bigger job and priced himself out of the market. Bilic considered a return to Upton Park where he was a popular player but wanted a £40 million transfer budget - out of proportion with the Hammers' financial predicament.
David Sullivan and David Gold were attracted to Grant by his heroics at Fratton Park with penniless Pompey. West Ham, too, are working on a tight financial restraints, and Sullivan revealed recently that the club were days away from administration before they took over with a £50 million, 50% takeover at the turn of the year.
This week Sullivan and Gold bought a further stake for £8 million, £4 million going into the club to meet pressing liabilities and for down payments on new signings. Grant's first task is to sort through a list of nearly 30 players who are available for transfer and who would welcome a move to Upton Park.
Sullivan and Gold are making preliminary enquires about several on the list, and initial offers have been lodged.
West Ham believe that the work permit is a "formality" but cannot unveil Grant as their new manager until it arrives, and it is expected on Tuesday or Wednesday.