LONDON - Slaven Bilic's troubled tenure at West Ham is expected to end on Monday - with David Moyes the clear favourite to replace him for at least the rest of the season.
Moyes is due to fly back from Qatar where he has been working for beIN SPORTS and is expected to be summoned for talks with David Sullivan.
There is still work to be done for the West Ham board, who will want a short-term deal. But Moyes is likely to seek a minimum of 18 months.
That could create a sticking point as the West Ham board also deal with a social media uprising against the idea of hiring Moyes. It is believed Sullivan has been "surprised" by a backlash, but he was being encouraged to ignore that by allies last night.
Plans to include Phil Neville in a three-man coaching team with Moyes’s former No 2 Alan Irvine have been shelved. Neville wants a No 1 position and could be on Sunderland’s radar.
Bilic, whose team crumbled in a 4-1 loss to Liverpool on Saturday, is due to meet Hammers co-chairman David Sullivan in a scheduled meeting on Monday but the Croatian has accepted that he is in a precarious position.
West Ham fell into the bottom three on Sunday and now face an international break full of soul-searching. They face difficult matches against Watford, Leicester and Everton. Moyes will have to make his mark quickly, if they can conclude a deal.
Bilic’s mainly Croatian backroom staff will also depart en masse. It is not clear what will happen to popular former player Julian Dicks, who is a coaching assistant. Moyes is thought to want a former West Ham player on his coaching staff.
Other candidates have been considered, with former Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini understood to be among them. Former Upton Park boss Alan Pardew has also been mentioned and would be a popular choice.
Moyes was identified by Sullivan and the club board when he was manager at Real Sociedad and Sportsmail understands they regarded him to be the best solution when they considered sacking Bilic in October. It is understood preliminary discussions between representatives for both parties have taken place.
On Sunday Moyes refused to discuss the situation, mindful that as things stand Bilic is the manager and no doubt conscious he could yet earn a reprieve.
He told beIN SPORTS: "I’ve been there myself; I know what Slaven is going through at the moment," he said. "He must be hating it and wanting to get a result as quickly as he can."
But asked if he would be interested should West Ham move to change their manager, Moyes said: "If it becomes available yes, but at the moment it’s not available. I’ve had no contact with West Ham but I’ve always said I want to go back into club management and if the right opportunity comes around then I’d be interested."
Moyes has been out of work since May after he responded to relegation at Sunderland by resigning as manager.
But any contract talks could yet prove complicated if the West Ham hierarchy are only prepared to offer the former Manchester United and Everton boss a deal until the end of the season.
That said, guiding West Ham to safety would be a fine response to relegation and Moyes must realise how much it would repair the damage his reputation has suffered after spells at the Stadium of Light and Old Trafford.
Sources at West Ham were alarmed to see a number of senior players scurrying away from the dressing room 15 minutes after full time against Liverpool. There was no inquest from the manager, who has been disheartened by the performances of his team in recent weeks.
It is believed a number of players are surprised it has taken so long for the board to act. There have been questions about the intensity of training and performance levels have dipped. Moyes will need to inspire confidence in a squad that is considered to be strong, despite their abject performances.