West Ham's hunt for the man they will entrust to take them back to the Premier League could end on Wednesday, with Sam Allardyce thought to be close to taking the Upton Park reins.
The Hammers sacked Avram Grant last month after their relegation to the npower Championship was confirmed with a game to spare, and a number of names, such as Dave Jones, Neil Warnock and Malky Mackay had all been touted.
But Press Association Sport understands that 56-year-old Allardyce has impressed co-owners David Gold and David Sullivan so much that he could be unveiled on a two-year deal imminently.
If Allardyce is the man, it will be his first job since he was dismissed by Blackburn in December and it will be the first time he has managed outside the top flight in a decade.
Having cut his teeth with Blackpool and Notts County, he made his name as a manager with Bolton and took them to the Premier League through the play-offs in 2001.
He then established them as a Premier League club and even took them into Europe in 2005.
His work on a relatively low budget did not go unnoticed and he moved to Newcastle in 2007, only for Mike Ashley to take over the club two weeks later and sack Allardyce after just six months.
After an 11-month absence he returned to management with Blackburn in December 2008 and was thought by many to be doing a reasonable job, again on a low budget, when he was sacked six months ago.
Again his dismissal was authorised by an owner that did not employ him, but, if Gold and Sullivan make the decision to appoint him, Allardyce can hope to get the time he needs to reshape the east London club.
One of his first tasks will be to resolve the future of the club`s leading names, the majority of whom are expected to leave. England quartet Carlton Cole, Rob Green, Scott Parker and Matthew Upson will all have suitors, as will midfielder Thomas Hitzlsperger.
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