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Real escape with hope of progress

What the papers say

West Ham close on Allardyce

West Ham are set to install Sam Allardyce as their new manager as they come to terms with life in the Championship next season.

• Gold: No contact with Jones

The Hammers have been searching for a new boss since deciding to axe manager Avram Grant as soon as relegation had been confirmed with a 3-2 defeat to struggling Wigan in the penultimate game of the season.

Cardiff boss Dave Jones and former Aston Villa manager Martin O'Neill were linked to the Upton Park role - with O'Neill believed to be the favourite choice of the board - but ESPNsoccernet has been told by a West Ham insider that the deal for Allardyce is "90% done" after the club interviewed two British managers.

Allardyce, 56, was sacked by new Blackburn Rovers' new owners Venky's in December last year and has not managed since. However, if he accepts the Hammers role, he can double his £1.5 million salary.


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