Hammers job not for McClaren
Former England manager Steve McClaren has ruled himself out of the running to replace Avram Grant as West Ham United manager.
Grant was sacked by Hammers co-owners David Gold and David Sullivan following yesterday's 3-2 defeat at Wigan Athletic, which condemned the London club to relegation.
McClaren, who was let go by German club Wolfsburg earlier this season following a successful spell in the Netherlands with FC Twente, was thought to be among the favourites to replace the Israeli coach.
However, in a statement to Sky Sports News, McClaren said: "It is very flattering to be linked with a club of West Ham's size and historic stature, also one that has tremendous fans. However, at this moment in time I do not wish to be considered for the position. But I wish everybody at West Ham all the very best for the future."
First-team coach Kevin Keen has been placed in temporary charge, while Chris Hughton, Neil Warnock, Gus Poyet and Sam Allardyce could be in the frame for the permanent position. Former West Ham left-back Julian Dicks, currently in charge of non-league Grays Athletic, has also said he would welcome the chance to revive his old club's fortunes.
Gold insists the decision of appointing Grant's replacement must not be rushed, though. "The sooner the better because we have a lot of work to do - an enormous amount of work - but we mustn't be rushed," Gold told Sky Sports News. "This will be a very, very important appointment.
"We're choosing a manager good enough to get us out of this division and capable of continuing once we've achieved that. Now relegation is known this is one of the reasons we moved quickly. It's important we have time for the CVs to come into us.
"I'm sure many, many managers will see the job as challenging and exciting and it's important we pick the right person. We're also prepared for the most exciting venture in the history of the club in the sense that we'll be moving to a new stadium, which is something we've never done. All these challenges have got to be addressed, so it's important we pick the right person."
Gold's take on Grant
Gold, however, has been scathing in his analysis of Grant, giving credence to suggestions the Israeli, who has finished bottom of the table two seasons in a row after being relegated with Portsmouth last season, struggled to inspire his players.
"Everything seemed okay to me when I visited the training ground, but my visits are quite short otherwise I get accused of interfering and that's the last thing I'd want to be accused of," Gold said. "I'd be in the dressing room before a match and the training ground for half a day and what I saw was professionalism - but that's only what I saw."
The departure of West Ham's top players may seem inevitable, yet Gold will not let them leave without a fight. Scott Parker and Rob Green could lead an exodus, while the contracts of Matthew Upson, Kieron Dyer, Danny Gabbidon and Lars Jacobsen expire this season.
On-loan Wayne Bridge and Robbie Keane will return to Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur respectively as a summer of upheaval at Upton Park beckons. "We will do everything in our power to keep our best players," said Gold.
"It will be very difficult to ask an international to come and play in the Championship when traditionally England players aren't picked from the Championship. By the same token I'd hasten to add that we're not in any hurry to sell. We must receive the proper amount of compensation for any player we sell and if we don't then that player will stay with us in the Championship."