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West Ham open to David Moyes staying – but Europa Conference League could be crucial

David Moyes - West Ham open to David Moyes staying –  but Europa Conference League could be crucial
David Moyes – West Ham open to David Moyes staying – but Europa Conference League could be crucial

West Ham United have not yet ruled out starting next season with David Moyes as the club’s manager – and winning the Europa Conference League would give his case to stay on a huge boost.

West Ham effectively sealed their survival in the Premier League by beating Manchester United on Sunday and are now preparing for the first leg of their Conference League semi-final against AZ Alkmaar on Thursday night.

Moyes has been on the brink of being sacked on more than one occasion this season and yet could end it with a trophy and qualification for the Europa League, which would have to be rated as a success.

West Ham’s last trophy success was the old Intertoto Cup in 1999, with the club also winning the European Cup Winners’ Cup in 1965.

While a section of supporters have called for Moyes to go, it would be a huge decision for the West Ham board to sack the Scotsman on the back of winning a trophy and qualifying for Europe again.

There is already recognition behind the scenes for the fact Moyes has twice qualified for Europe with West Ham, making him one of the club’s most successful modern-day managers, and that this season has not been a write-off thanks to the Conference League run .

Failure to get past Alkmaar would no doubt put more pressure on Moyes, but sources have not yet ruled out the prospect of him starting next season as West Ham manager.

West Ham have considered their options should they decide to make a change with Lille manager Paulo Fonseca keen to position himself into contention and vice-chairman Karren Brady bizarrely making her admiration for Celtic’s Ange Postecoglou clear in her column for the Sun. West Ham are also among the clubs ready to make a check on Graham Potter, who was sacked by Chelsea, if they opt to replace Moyes.

Meanwhile, West Ham are hoping to beat competition from a host of Premier League rivals, including Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur, to sign Republic of Ireland youth prospect Joe O’Brien-Whitmarsh.

The 17-year-old midfielder is currently playing for Cork City and has already had a trial at West Ham a couple of years ago, with the club keeping a close eye on his progress ever since.

West Ham thrashed Arsenal in the final of this season’s FA Youth Cup, which the club hopes will boost their pulling power when competing for the best young talent.

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